We’ve known since February that Newsday.com was going to be put behind a paywall so its parent company Cablevision could see if any of that Wall Street Journal magic could rub off on them and actually get users to pay for online content. Two weeks ago, the company announced its payment plan: $5 a week for full access to their online edition, unless you were already a subscriber to the Long Island paper or its parent company’s Optimum Internet service. And considering that Newsday‘s most recent circ numbers have fallen 5.4 percent, Cablevision can use all the extra cash from the publication it acquired last year that it can get.
But not all writers agree: Saul Friedman, a columnist at Newsday for over a decade, quit the paper last week in protest of the publication’s paywall, which went into effect last week. Friedman’s column in the paper, “Gray Matters,” dealt with the topic of aging, ironically something that print journalism can’t seem to find a way to do gracefully as more and more consumers turn to the Internet for free content.
Friedman’s full memo about his reasons for leaving, posted on Romenesko, after the jump.