The only things I really like are Krugman and Bob Herbert, so it’s no skin off my nose if they want to shoot themselves in the foot.
Here’s what I’ve been suggesting for years: Create a news portal. One price covers all online member publications, and it’s paid painlessly ($10 a month on Paypal, Amazon or something similar). Then you split the advertising revenue – a combination of circulation and click-throughs that will offer the opportunity for smaller papers to compete with the larger publications for readers.
It’s nothing radical. It’s based on the same BMI/ASCAP model we already use to pay recording artists.
It’s fair, and it’s competitive, which is why they’d never agree to it.
UPDATE: Oh, and an alternative? I suggested cutting deals with the internet providers to offer the content free to their subscribers.