Murdoch Will Smack His Ponderous Forehead Against a News Pay Wall

The Wall Street Journal Online is one of the great success stories in paid news content, and yet what’s worked for it won’t necessarily apply on News Corp.’s other properties. At least that’s the view of Alan Meckler, CEO of MediaBistro parent WebMediaBrands, and I’m inclined to agree.

In a tweet earlier today, Meckler criticized the News Corp.’s planned move to charge for content on Web properties operated by News Corp.’s television and print news holdings. “Perhaps 95% of their paid subs are paid by companies for individuals. The model will not work for others,” he wrote.

Rupert Murdoch begs to differ. In comments to investors yesterday, he was unequivocal about the planned shift.

“We intend to charge for all our news Web sites,” the FT quoted him as saying. “If we’re successful, we’ll be followed by all media,” he added, predicting “significant revenues” from charging for differentiated news online.

Can’t argue with that. On an unrelated subject, I have this wacky neighbor who’s building a giant drilling machine, you know? He wants to bore through to the hollow center of the earth. If he’s successful, the rest of us on the block are going in after him, and I predict “significant revenues” from the resulting haul of precious stones and minerals. You want to get in on it?

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