Dramatic changes are coming to the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

I ran into George Norcross, one of the owners of the papers and Philly.com at a Pennsylvania Society event over the weekend, and he confirmed that early next year, the two papers' content will separate from Philly.com, where they've resided for years, and migrate to separate websites that will charge for content.

Currently both papers have a subscription-only digital version, but virtually all the material is also available for free on Philly.com.

Norcross didn't get into details, but did say that the company will end the idiotic (my word, not his) practice of charging current newspaper subscribers an additional fee to get the digital version.

I'm no media expert, but this strikes me as welcome news. Somebody has to pay for news gathering, and we need to keep the institution of newsrooms alive. The current economic model isn't working, and a world of tablet and online subscriptions has a chance.

Read more in this piece by Meg Heckman on the website NetNewsCheck.