Other veteran Murdoch-watchers claim the fact he has chosen to flag up his plans for the best part of a year suggests he is uncharacteristically nervous about the step he is about to take. He usually takes the opposition by surprise, cutting the cover price of the Times or the Sun to 10p to boost circulation or, famously, transferring the workforce of his British newspapers to Wapping overnight.
Talking about the plans to charge, Andrew Neil, the former Sunday Times editor, says: “It is a good idea. I think he's right and it would help if everybody did it.” But he adds: “He knows that this will work best if all the main competitors do it.”
Read more: The Observer profile: Rupert Murdoch