According to the Mercury News, Apple is on the verge of announcing a new subscription model system for newspapers on the iPad:

Apple is expected to announce soon a new subscription plan for newspapers, which hope tablets like the iPad will eventually provide a new source of profits as media companies struggle with declining print circulation and advertising revenue.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment. But Roger Fidler, head of digital publishing at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute in Columbia, Mo., said Apple probably will take a 30 percent cut of all subscriptions sold through the company's online App Store, and as much as 40 percent of the advertising revenue from publications' apps.

Before the iPad came out, everyone was wondering if it would be a content-delivery device that newspapers could exploit. Since the iPad's April debut, the device has proven to be ridiculously successful, but newspaper and magazine sales have been lackluster. Part of the problem, I think, is that Apple didn't prepare a separate, standardized model for media subscription sales. Will this be too little, too late, or can Apple actually manage to turn the iPad into an all-purpose media subscription device?

And in other news, this feels like the first positive media news I've read in ages: The Atlantic is set to turn a profit. Could things finally be turning around for smart media companies?