Could the Cable TV Model Save Newspapers?

Chicago Tribune colummist Eric Zorn has a suggestion about how to keep the newspaper business, in business.

I’m now a believer in the cable TV model. News organizations that generate significant original content should band together for their own survival and sell group subscription packages for unlimited access to their stories, photos, videos, archives and other offerings.

For, say, $10 a month, a subscriber would have a choice of, say, 50 participating local, regional and national newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations. Another $5 might buy an additional 50 outlets, and so on.

Why the bundling? Because the online subscription model doesn’t work for most individual media companies. Readers just browse over to similar, free sites to avoid the hassle and the expense, however minor.

Why not try a pay-per-click model instead? Same reason.

It’s a great idea. Maybe one of the new visionaries at Zorn’s employer will take him up on it…once they emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.