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MediaNews takes aim at Google

MediaNews Group will block Google from pulling stories from the Web sites of two of its newspapers that plan to test the concept of charging for news, according to Bloomberg News.

In the first quarter of next year, MNG plans to charge for most of its news on the sites of two of its smaller papers, the Enterprise-Record in Chico and the York (Pa.) Daily Record.

Google will still have access to whatever the papers continue to offer for free.

A.H. Belo Corp., publisher of the Dallas Morning News and other papers, said it’s also considering introducing online fees and blocking Google.

The first chain to discuss blocking Google was News Corp., headed by Rupert Murdoch. News Corp. is reportedly in talks with Microsoft about displaying stories on its Bing site. 

Google has said in the past that the value of the added traffic Google brings to newspaper Web sites outweighs what it receives by taking the content for free, the SF Business Times noted. As a result, fewer than 100 publishers have blocked their content from Google News.

The idea of charging for news online strikes former MediaNews employee Rob Burgess of Ukiah as crazy. On his blog he wrote the following letter to MNG chief executive Dean Singleton:

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