Economist.com has posted a small question-and-answer with the head of Slate. com, Jacob Weisberg. He points to the emerging viability of Web-only enterprises because of their lower distribution costs.
Arguably the most arguable point he makes is that newspapers have a stake in the failure of Web sites because their success would hasten the decline of the paper.
I hope he misspoke, because he's wrong otherwise. I don't see any media organization intentionally undercutting the Web to preserve the print product. If anything, I see frustration among media companies in freeing resources to invest in digital because so many sunk costs are in papers and are hard to retire. Most media companies are trying to balance the ongoing audience/revenue legacy of print with the emerging audience/revenue of online.
While it's true that many American newspapers now are incurring losses, that isn't the case in most other countries. The U.S. mantra of go-Web-only has to be carefully considered.