News Corp. Talks Universal Paywall With Times, Post

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 21, 2009 8:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – Executives at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. have been meeting with rival newspaper publishers about a consortium that would charge for web content. The publishers of the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times are all believed to have met with Jonathan Miller, the News Corp. officer overseeing digital strategy. But analysts remain skeptical that any payment scheme will make a significant dent in papers' balance sheets.

While Murdoch's Wall Street Journal can rely on business subscribers who need timely information, individual readers have proven unwilling to buy general news online. One consultant tells the LA Times that a News Corp.-led consortium could make more money analyzing readers' habits across sites and selling data to advertisers. Any grouping, however, is likely to pique antitrust regulators who may view the idea as harming competition.

Jonathan Miller, left, at the annual Allen & Co.'s media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, Friday, July 10, 2009.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
News Corp, which owns the Wall Street Journal, has held discussions with rival media companies about charging for online content.   (Flickr)
The Washington Post offices in DC.   (Flickr)
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