Hurray for the Dolans!

Those are words I never thought I’d write.

Cablevision is going to start charging readers to view its content, according to Reuters.

But Cablevision Chief Operating officer Tom Rutledge said the cable TV company was aware of the difficulties faced by the traditional newspaper business.

“Our goal was and is to use our electronic network assets and subscriber relationships to transform the way news is distributed,” he said on a conference call with analysts.

“We plan to end the distribution of free Web content,” he added.

I say it’s long overdue, but it takes brass to be the first off the blocks (the WSJ doesn’t count since it always charged).

Newspapers are in a death spiral and giving away your content for free isn’t cutting it. People will pay for the news online, especially now that they’re becoming aware of how perilous the states of their local papers. And if they won’t pay online, it will slow circulation declines.

Now, who’s up next?

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.