Friday, February 27, 2009

Brilliant: Failing Newspaper to Charge for Inferior Online Product

This rag may as well just close up shop now. They've been unable to compete in the New York city market and now they want to charge people to read their biased crap?

Good luck with that.
Cablevision Systems Corp plans to charge online readers of its Newsday newspaper, a move that would make it one of the first large U.S. papers to reverse a trend toward free Web readership.

Newsday, which covers the New York suburb of Long Island, was bought by Cablevision in a $650 million deal last May that was widely criticized on Wall Street as a puzzling move into a troubled newspaper market.

Cablevision had to write down Newsday's value by $402 million on Thursday, pushing its fourth-quarter results to a loss, as U.S. print advertising sales and circulation have dropped with more readers seeking free news on the Web.

But Cablevision Chief Operating officer Tom Rutledge said the cable TV company was aware of the difficulties faced by the traditional newspaper business.

"Our goal was and is to use our electronic network assets and subscriber relationships to transform the way news is distributed," he said on a conference call with analysts.

"We plan to end the distribution of free Web content," he added.

Several large U.S. newspaper groups have had to lay off staff, slash dividends and scramble for debt refinancing. Others have filed for bankruptcy protection, including Newsday's former parent Tribune Co, Journal Register Co. and Philadelphia Newspapers LLC.

In the past, several major newspapers including The New York Times charged readers for full or partial access to stories on their websites.

But in recent years, news content has become widely available for free, forcing many papers to give up small subscription revenue in the hope of gaining better ad sales by attracting more readers.
Frankly I'd be surprised if they got a hundred people to pay for their drivel.

Seriously, would you pay for this?

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