This isn't exactly encouraging:
In late October, Newsday, the Long Island daily that the Dolans bought for $650 million, put its web site, newsday.com, behind a pay wall. The paper was one of the first non-business newspapers to take the plunge by putting up a pay wall, so in media circles it has been followed with interest. Could its fate be a sign of what others, including The New York Times, might expect?
So, three months later, how many people have signed up to pay $5 a week, or $260 a year, to get unfettered access to newsday.com?
The answer: 35 people. As in fewer than three dozen. As in a decent-sized elementary-school class.
[. . .]
The web site redesign and relaunch cost the Dolans $4 million, according to Mr. Jimenez. With those 35 people, they've grossed about $9,000.
Some return on investment, huh? There was a time, right at the beginning of the digital revolution, when newspapers could have gotten a handle on the Internet and made a profit there. It would have required all newspapers to agree to charge for online content from the very start. But you can't charging for stuff you've been giving away