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Pay wall fail : $650 million Newsday acquisition garners just 35 subscribers in three months

In news that must surely test the size and solidity of Rupert Murdoch's balls, it seems that one of the first behind-the-pay-wall news sites -- Newsday -- has accumulated a grand total of 35 paying subscribers in three months of operation.

I've never heard of Newsday, but apparently it's a big daily paper from Long Island, New York. It was bought by the Dolans (the original owners of the HBO network) in 2008 for $650 million. Recently the Newsday website was overhauled for the princely sum of $4 million. It then went behind a pay wall in October 2009 -- since then (over three months ago) they have managed to accrue a total of 35 subscribers. Those 35 people have, so far, netted the paper a grand total of $9,000.

They have managed to find just shy of three dozen -- twoscore minus four -- people willing to pay five dollars a week for quality news reporting.

If I was Rupert Murdoch and about to sink my crowning glory of a newspaper behind a pay wall, I'd be a little scared right now.

Tags: content, news, newsday, pay wall, PayWall, subscription