The owner of Long Island’s Newsday thinks it knows how to survive in the Internet age:
NEW YORK, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Cablevision Systems Corp (CVC.N) 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.
Yea, you go with that one.
They can’t really think this is going to work, can they ?
Heck, the New York Times found out almost two years ago that charging even for some “premium” content wasn’t enough to stop the slide and, in the era of free content, only meant fewer readers. You would think that their neighbors on the Island were watching, and learning, but apparently not.