This one is from a few weeks back, but I just saw it. Apparently, Mort Zuckerman, owner of the NY Daily News has an interesting (and somewhat different) idea on how to save newspapers: have them be able to take sports bets via their websites
. This isn't currently legal, but he thinks it would work:
There is something that can be done, and the federal government ought to do it: allow sports betting on newspaper Web sites. That would save every newspaper in America. The New York Times.com could do it. Plenty of British papers do this; for them it's a crucial part of their net revenue stream. I know a major newspaper in London that makes $15 million a year from sports betting alone.
I think it's a lot better of an idea than a paywall (though, Zuckerman likes the paywall idea, but tellingly notes, "I'll be the second or third to do it. Not the first."), but I'm not sure why a newspaper is any better at doing it than other sites. Perhaps because they have the sports reporting, but it's not clear how that's really unique to them. On top of that, given the way the US gov't treats online gambling as being something somewhat close to pure evil, combined with the powerful casino lobby, it's difficult to see this actually getting anywhere.