Nice article about the growth of free (print) news. Since there's little competition in each free news market, at the risk of oversimplification, the essential question is about the value equation: are the gains to reading actual news greater than the costs of reading ads? If they are, the model has a good chance; if not, like radio, it will die a slow, painful death.
When margins begin to attract competition, the question becomes a dynamic one: who can achieve distribution economies fastest? Essentially, this is an arms race to reach first-to-scale and grab the natural monopoly position that can squeeze out competitors (by a quick and nasty advertising price war).