"People reading news for free on the Web, that’s got to change.”
Murdoch pointed to the Journal’s main rival in the United States, The New York Times, as an example. The Times has one of the most popular U.S. newspaper websites, but still cannot cover its costs with online ads, he said.
Murdoch’s newspaper empire includes the New York Post, the Times of London and other papers in Britain and Australia, which are available online for free. The Journal had been charging for access for years before News Corp bought it.
His comments come as the Times holds a semi-public debate about whether it should revisit charging readers to get some or all of its news and commentary online. It canceled an earlier experiment, “TimesSelect”, to charge for columnists and similar content because it made more money from ads.
The Journal charges readers for access to its website, which Murdoch said was “not a gold mine, but it’s not bad”. When he first took over the paper, News Corp and Dow Jones executives considered making the site free, but determined it would be better to keep charging for most, but not all, content.