US Media Owners Substituting ‘Pennies for Dollars’ Online?

Are new online business models just substituting “pennies for dollars” for media owners? That was the woeful conclusion of Mort Zuckerman, publisher of the New York Daily News and US News and World Report, according to the detailed minutes of a recent inquiry into media ownership by the UK House of Lords Communications Committee released Friday. In September, the committee visited the U.S. and the offices of its major media owners, regulators, and media groups looking at the state of newspapers, broadcasters, radio and online. The minutes show an industry at a turning point, with media owners both hopeful and despondent of the future. One theme that consistently arose was whether or not the Internet represented a boon or bane for media owners and if the Web could ever be channeled for profit. Complete transcript of the minutes can be found here.

More choice outtakes from the minutes, after the jump…

Mort Zuckerman on the internet: Zuckerman noted that classified advertising is moving on to the Internet, but not to the websites of newspapers but to new dedicated providers–and for the first time it may hit the profits of the Daily News, which up till now has always made a profit. While he is trying to develop new online business models, Zuckerman called it