I get the newspaper, or rather my wife does. Now I get to try and figure out what my home delivery ID is, and hope that both of us can actually use it on separate accounts. And of course I can't read the article I wanted _now_, since I'm not at home and we only get the weekend papers anyways.
Does the NY Times just want to fade into nothingness? Apparently your subscription gets you access to 100 stories from their archive, which also seems odd. Didn't most of their money come from that in the past? Are you telling me they think they'll get more money from people signing up to read their op-eds than they made on their archive? Or do most of the archive readers need access to more than 100 stores a month?
It should be about influence peddling, about eye balls, about getting people to your site so they can see the ads. Kos has a graph about the waning influence in the blogosphere of the top NY Times op-ed columnists because of this.
Presumably, they know their business and they know what they are doing, but this armchair quarterback thinks this is a really bad idea.