When newspaper executives complain that they haven’t been able to make money from the Internet, it”s not from a lack of trying. Here’s a 1981 report from KRON-TV about a new service the Chroncle and Examiner were offering to readers. With a phone modem, a reader could download a digital newspaper in two hours. At a cost of $5 a hour, it would only cost a consumer $10 a day to get the news online. Still, 500 people in the Bay Area were interested, KRON reported.
“This is an experiment,” said David Cole of the Examiner told KRON. “Were trying to figure out what it’s going to mean to us as editors and reporters and what it means to the home user. We’re not in it to make money.”
Newman concluded his report by saying, “Engineers now predict that the day will come when we get all of our newspapers and magazines by home computer, but that’s a few years off. So for the moment at least this fellow isn’t worried about being out of a job.”