The online versions of the Times and the Sunday times newspapers will be hidden away behind paywalls from June and readers will have to pay either £1 per day or £2 per week to access their content.
News International announced this morning, via chief executive Rebekah Brooks, that it was an important step "towards making the business of news an economically exciting proposition".
She added that News International was proud of its journalistic approach and "unashamed" to say that it believed it has value. Customers with a 7-day subscription for the print edition will get free access to the website.
Furthermore, two new websites - thetimes.co.uk and thesundaytimes.co.uk - will be launched early may and will exist as two separate entities. There will be a free trial period.
Significantly, Brooks confirmed that the Sun and its Sunday edition, the News of the World, by far the most popular paid-for newspapers in the UK, would also see their websites moved behind paywalls although she did not mention any time frame for the move.
Rupert Murdoch, the controversial and vocal owner of the four newspapers, has thrown his weight behind the shift from completely free to a pay-for-viewing scheme.
Only the NYTimes, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal have been able to successfully make the transition without losing too much of their audience.
The news came as we learnt that the former KGB oligarch, Alexander Lebedev, is being paid £9.25 million to take the Independent and the Independent of Sunday newspapers, showing if needs be that traditional journalism is indeed a very, very difficult business.