Okay, at this late evening time, there's growing questions about what Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge meant when he apparently said:
“We plan to end the distribution of free Web content. Our goal was and is to use our electronic network assets and subscriber relationships to transform the way news is distributed.”
Maybe a Cablevision Newsday channel. Maybe some other flavor of that. Maybe no Little Rock-like direct charge for online access. Cablevision, though, has yet to tell us what they did mean. (I love it when the press -- and Cablevision, you are now the press, refuse to talk to the press). So we'll have to wait and see.
In my post ("Paid Newsday Site? What's 4 1/2 Minutes Worth to You), I emphasized how woeful the site's time-on-site is, lowest of the top 30 websites.
Those four-and-a-half minutes are a problem for Cablevision however it plans to use Newsday content online. It must master the metaphor of the web, and its stats tell you how far away from mastery it is.
An e-mail from a Newsday reporter greatly helps explain why:
The other problem is that Newsday has been cut and chopped to the point that it's probably dispensable for most of our audience. If you don't care about local politics or crime -- and most crime stories don't really affect the vast majority of our readers anyway -- you can probably do without newsday.com and certainly wouldn't pay for it. I suspect the Dolans will link the paper's Web site with subscribing to Cablevision, but that certainly remains to be seen".
Well-said, and a story unfortunately not found only on Long Island.