Newsday to charge for website, online cable service

Reuters:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cablevision Systems Corp 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.

The paper said in a statement late on Thursday that it is in the process of transforming the site into a locally focused cable service.

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.

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