News Corp., 'Financial Times' float plans to charge for content

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New York—News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said last week he intends to begin charging for news content on a variety of his company's Web sites, which include those of The Times of London and New York Post.

“Quality journalism is not cheap,” Murdoch said in a conference call after his company posted a $203 million loss for the quarter ended June 30. “The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels, but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news Web sites.” News Corp. owns The Wall Street Journal, which does charge for online subscriptions and is often cited as an example of how online paid content can be successful.

The Financial Times is also looking to expand its paid content model to include micro-payments similar to iTunes. FT CEO John Ridding, in an interview with the The Independent, said, “Our view is that there's significant potential for pricing per piece and per time period. The whole point about the Internet is flexible consumption and reader choice.”

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