Newsday to begin charging for online news – CNET News — Another clueless company. Let the death watch begin anew!

New York newspaper Newsday plans to begin charging online readers for access to its content, rejecting a trend toward free online newspaper content.

The move, which comes as the newspaper industry is mired in financial turmoil, was announced Thursday during a conference call in which Cablevision, the newspaper’s owner, also announced it would write down the value of its $650 million acquisition of the newspaper by $402 million.

“Our goal was, and is, to use our electronic network assets and subscriber relationships to transform the way news is distributed,” said Tom Rutledge, Cablevision’s chief operating officer, according to a Reuters report on the call. “We plan to end distribution of free Web content and to make our news gathering capabilities service our customers.”

  1. Tim says:

    Obviously they’ve never heard of

  2. Lou says:

    This guy is out of ideas.

  3. brian t says:

    If you increase prices to make up for a lack of customers, you are doomed.

    I would go so far as to call this a general rule of business, whether offline or online – and yet I’ve seen it happen in small local stores. “If we can just make a bit more from each customer, to get us over this hump… um, where did the customers go?”

  4. LinusVP says:

    Yeah let’s tax the rich customers (voters) so we can turn the newspaper (economy) around.

    Sounds like a plan!

  5. Paul says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if the NYTimes started a for-pay system (again).

    Was a subscriber; would be a subscriber (again).

  6. orangetiki says:

    Should I even bother learning who these knuckleheads are? they will probably be gone by the time I finish writing this

  7. dusanmal says:

    @#6 Yes, it is worthy to learn who the k’heads are, because it adds to the story. This idea came from Cablevision who laid its grabby paws and yesteryear sense of what Internet is on the Newsday. Typical old media takeover of the another old media. Idea is to sell Newsday as a local cable TV channel. Will be interesting to watch them fail. (I do have negative opinion about Cablevision on LI ever since we were told that the service visit for our problem can be scheduled in 35 days… DirecTV customer since…)

  8. Buzz says:

    In a stunning feat of legerdemain, the entire Newsday organization caused itself to disappear today in front of a crowd of hundreds.

    Its last words were, “I’ve got something up my sleeve…”

  9. Sktar says:

    First of all, if Newsday started charging on line, no one would read it. It’s crap. Secondly, who gets their news from mainstream papers anymore? The only paper I’d pay for is the Financial Times. Everything else, including the NY Times is essentially a worthless rag spouting the government’s idea of what we should be privy to.

  10. Special Ed says:

    The only way I would subscribe to an online newspaper was if they sent a hot blonde to whack me off while reading it to me.

  11. hhopper says:

    Why would anyone want to pay for the news online when there are about a million sites that have the news for free?

    (Make that a billion sites.)

  12. Tim says:

    #11 then it works a bit like spam. Notify every possible user and eventually a few suckers will fall for it even if its 0.001%.

  13. homehive says:

    I’ve read very few things on the web that were worth paying for. They were:

    1) The Wall Street Journal – I tried it for a year and dropped it. It’s TOO EXPENSIVE, and it’s available for free at my local library.

    2) The Economist Magazine – I tried it for a year and dropped it. It’s TOO EXPENSIVE ($89/year), and it’s available for free at my local library.

    3) The Financial Times – I tried it for a year and dropped it. It’s TOO EXPENSIVE ($179/year), and most of its information is available for free on other websites.

    4) The Digital Edition of Scientific American – I still subscribe even though it costs almost $40/year (more than an e-subscription should cost) and every library in the country subscribes to it. It’s my one treat. It’s major advantage is that physical copies won’t clutter up my house or the annual library book sales. My keychain flash holds a lifetime supply. But I still cringe when I resubscribe.

    In summary:

    The publishers are going to HAVE to realize that the only way to survive is too charge VERY LOW e-subscription prices that MILLIONS of readers will pay and let the increased VOLUME bring in the profits.

    They need to think of TOTAL PROFITS, not PROFIT PER UNIT SOLD.

    This is Economics 101, but the business fights it tooth and nail.

  14. Carcarius says:

    I saw this coming too. Some print newspapers will survive because it’ll be a cheaper option to online subscriptions.

    Online news outlets will be targets by cyber-criminals since paid accounts will be another avenue of credit card and potentially ID theft.

  15. KD Martin says:

    #13, enjoy the treat. I like it too. And it’s less than the cost of one good meal at a fine restaurant — one night — vs. a year’s worth of great information.

    Don’t worry about the $40. That’s one big bang for the buck.

  16. Dale says:

    Who is Newsday? Never went to the site when it was free so I don’t see me going there at all now. This is a death rattle, a last breath, nothing more.


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