Dallas News Inches Closer to Charging for Online Content and Blocking Google News

The latest news about The News should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who's listened to the paper's publisher and CEO, Jim Moroney, since at least February, when he told Unfair Park that, yes, sooner or later A.H. Belo would "experiment" with finding out how much online readers were willing to pay for content. Three months later, he spoke to the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet about the need for "fair compensation for newspaper content," and called out online news aggregators who pilfer and profit from newspapers' hard work. You knew it was coming.

This morning, Bloomberg News brings word: The publishers of The Dallas Morning News and the Denver Post are likely to join News Corp. in blocking Google's access to stories as they move some content behind a pay wall. We know when -- within the next six months -- but not where; could be at The News, could be at The Providence Journal, could be at The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California. Says Moroney to Bloomberg, blocking Google News isn't "imminent," but the pay wall is: "This is traffic that's not being monetized to any great degree. It's akin to a person who drops into town, buys one copy of your newspaper and leaves town again, and yet you spend a whole bunch of time building your business around that type of customer."

Update at 10:25 a.m.:
Bloomberg News follows up with this video.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky