Customers of Cablevision, the cable and Internet provider that owns Newsday, and people who subscribe to Newsday in print will still be able to browse Newsday.com unfettered. But Newsday recently announced that everyone else will have to pay $5 a week to see much of the site, making it one of the few newspapers in the country to take such a plunge.
That did not sit well with Mr. Friedman, a freelancer who wrote Gray Matters, a weekly column on aging. He explained his departure in a note to Jim Romenesko’s media blog. In an interview, Mr. Friedman said, “My column has been popular around the country, but now it was really going to be impossible for people outside Long Island to read it. That includes him; living outside Washington, he is not a subscriber to Newsday or Cablevision.
Mr. Friedman, who is 80, said he would continue to write about older people for the site timegoesby.net, but he called his decision an end to more than 50 years in newspapers. He wrote for Newsday for more than 20 years, including several years as a staff writer in its Washington bureau.
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I suspect that as newspapers start culling and cutting the more expensive talent, more than a few excellent writers will leave for new venues (such as the Daily Beast, True/Slant, or HuffPo) or hang out their own shingle. The paywall cure may be just as painful as the disease.