The Future of Print

Newsday plans to charge for online news

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on February 26, 2009

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.

Via Reuters

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