Google Exec Has Formula for Online Newspapers

Business model will involve ads, micropayments, subscriptions

Newspapers will need a combination of advertising, micropayments and regular subscriptions to support its online content, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told newspaper executives Tuesday. He likened the new world of online publishing to the way in which the cable TV industry operates.

"I think you’re going to end up with all three" ways of supporting content, he told the executives at the closing session of this year’s Newspaper Association of America convention in San Diego that attracted about 200 attendees. But the main emphasis will have to be on advertising.

In his talk, Schmidt commended newspapers for being the first to take advantage of the Internet in the 1990s but says there wasn’t a second act. News web sites are too slow to read, he said.

But despite some hope to the contrary, he said, people will still get most of their online news free. "It’s very difficult to hold information back."