Some classmates of mine at Penn recently finished a class on Pricing Strategies in the Marketing Department taught by Professor Z. John Zhang who studies such things and they’ve written a paper named “From Print to Portal: Pricing Strategies in the Online News Realm.”
They’ve kindly given me permission to post it online and share it so go ahead and check it out here. (PDF Link) They give a history of the topic and discuss what many companies are doing now. In the conclusion they suggest that news sites should adopt hybrid subscription models.
The paper is a good qualitative treatment of the subject and a fresh take from some people not personally invested in the subject. This was a final paper for the class, and from what I know, none of the five team members have ties to or have worked in the industry.