News Corp. is believed to have met with executives from the New York Times, the Washington Post, Hearst and Tribune in an effort to form a consortium of publishers that will charge for online content, according to the Dawn Chmielewski of the Company Town blog run by the Los Angeles Times.
News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch recently said it was imperative that news outlets–including his cable TV news outlets, Fox News Channel and Fox Business News–start charging online consumers for a least part of the content that is now availbable for free. News Corp. also owns the Wall Street Journal, which does operate with a paid online model.
The blog says the News Corp. executive leading the charge in the meetings with other companies is Chief Digital Officer Jonathan Miller.
The blog also quotes Alan Mutter, a former top editor at the Chicago Sun Times and San Francisco Chronicle, and longtime consultant on new media ventures, as saying, "The reality is that unless a lot of people who produce news act in unison to start charging for content, then individually they will fail."