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Schmidt Says Online News Will be Profitable

Although his company is seen as part of the cause of the decline in newspaper sales, Google CEO Eric Schmidt tells newspaper editors that he thinks online newspapers will be big business.

As keynote speaker at the American Society of News annual conference, Schmidt claimed that newspapers were "fundamental" to democracy. He predicted that online newspapers would form a successful new business model.

Schmidt stated in an Associated Press report: "We have a business model problem; we don't have a news problem." "We're all in this together," he added.

He said that online newspapers offered an exciting opportunity for media bosses to use technology to connect with their readers more easily. "Technology allows you to talk directly to your users," he stated.

There were some hard feelings about the comments made however, as Google is seen as a major player in the shift to online news and the resulting contraction of the physical newspaper market.

The New York Times and Newsday have both decided upon a release date for their subscription plans which would entail that users begin to pay for access to all articles.

The Wall Street Journal however is said to be taking a more innovative approach and planning to introduce charges to readers each time they require access to a particular article. This system will reportedly charge small individual fees for occasional users who may not want to pay the full subscription amount on other news sites.

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