Yesterday, Cablevision executives had a conference call with analysts and let it drop that they are going to put Newsday.com in the paid subscription business model. COO Tom Rutledge of the cable company, which bought the Long Island newspaper last year, said, "Our goal was and is to use our electronic network assets and subscriber relationships to transform the way news is distributed. We plan to end the distribution of free Web content."
Later on Newsday publisher Timothy P. Knight released a statement explaining, "We are in the process of transforming Newsday's Web site into an enhanced, locally focused cable service that we believe will become an important benefit for Newsday and Cablevision customers. More particulars will be forthcoming over the next few months."
Newsday's own article about the news points out, "Other major newspaper companies, most notably The New York Times, have tried charging for large segments of their online content, but ultimately backed away. The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times have successful pay-based models, but the Journal appears to be moving to more free content."
Speaking of the NY Times, Brownstoner reports that the paper of the record is starting a couple neighborhood blogs: "Our home soil of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill will be one of the two pilot sites (the other site will cover Millburn, Maplewood and South Orange in New Jersey). According to an email that was forwarded to us, the subject matter will include "cultural events, bar and restaurant openings, real estate, arts, fashion, health, social concerns and anything else that goes on in the SoHo of Brooklyn....Readers will be able to post everything from short films to wedding announcements, and a map-based real estate listings section will tie back to the Times' main real estate site." The sites go live on Monday.