Here on Long Island, the local newspaper Newsday recently began a policy that if you are not a subscriber to Newsday and are not an Optimum Cable customer of their parent company, Cablevision, you will have to pay $5 per week to access the newspaper's website.
I think this is a case of a dying newspaper (Newsday has been losing readership and subscribers at a steady rate over the last few year) owned by a company that is notorious for jacking up the rates on their cable services because they are the only cable provider on LI, using e-commerce to try to drive business to the brick & mortar side of the business. As there are many things wrong with Newsday and the parent company, I cannot see this being a successful strategy.

But if they were a better run company with better content and a better reputation, does anyone think a policy like this would work?

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Some people are hell bent on getting your local news/gossip, so I can see a small percentage of people willing to pay for the online access. But with so many other news outlets online, I cannot see this model working long term. It's a shame though... there's really no other paper that caters to Long Island, NY. I wonder if Topix or any other third party still distributes their content?

There are a number of regional newspapers on LI as well as News 12 on Cable. They all do a decent job of covering the small news and issues and with the Daily News, NY Post and even the Times in the City willing to cover the big stuff, I think Newsday has lost their opportunity and their window. It does not help that they have a reputation for being biased to certain viewpoints.

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