The most interesting thing I've seen in a long time about newspapers was a video on Yahoo! Finance. In it, Todd Harrison, CEO of Minyanville.com, who suggested that online portals buy large print companies like Gannett, my former employer. The idea of "Content as King," isn't news to a veteran newspaper editor like myself. Nice to see someone in the financial world with the same understanding.
I e-mailed the video to a number of newspaper friends, one of whom asked me what I thought would happen if such a deal emerged. As the editor of a startup company for a niche product, I think there's a real possibility in the idea. Given the media partnerships that emerge online, (msn.com, for example, using content from our site and links to it), it seems like a sound idea to maintain a steady stream of content that could be reused online from the original source -- the newspaper.
Until newspapers don't have any readers anymore, there's still income -- albeit much less of a profit margin than in the past -- that comes from the print product and the traffic from its online publications. So an online portal could maintain the newspaper's circulation until it becomes a financial liability and still get the benefit of great journalism.
These days, given the state of the struggling newspaper industry, the idea looks appealing indeed.