As I track the fate of the American newspaper industry, I have been pretty negative on their business model. But maybe it could work for a handful of national papers. Yglesias frames it well, speaking of Warren Buffet's response to a question about investing in a newspaper.
“Most” newspapers he wouldn’t buy at any price. But which newspapers would he buy? My guess is that the vast majority of newspapers currently operating in the United States will go out of business. But one or two will survive and become more profitable than ever as truly global digital media companies. Currently, The New York Times is burdened with a lot of debt and (of course) is losing money. But it seems to me that if it was owned by a firm with deep pockets, that was willing to keep losing money on putting out a quality product for long enough to ride out the recession and the collapse of most other big city dailies, would have an enormously valuable company in five or ten years. [More]
It sounds possible at least. And the end product would look remarkably different. At the same time, supposing we have only a handful of major news organs, how much more power would their editorial slant bring to bear on popular issues?