Are magazines committing suicide?

I was traveling this weekend and as I am wont to do, spent too much time at bookstores and magazine stands.

I came across the current issue of the New Yorker, where this article caught my eye: "A reporter at Large: Anatomy of a Meltdown", and the current issue of Wired, where this article caught my eye: "Ray Ozzie wants to Push Microsoft Back into Startup Mode".

I haven't read either article yet, but a cursory scan says that they are just the kind of thing I am interested in. Just the thing I'd be willing to pay for. Here's the thing. I thought about buying them (probably $10 total) but instead, back at my hotel, in the lobby, logged onto the free internet and printer connected computer, and printed out both articles , stapled them (handy stapler provided by hotel) and took them to my room.

I like this, as a reader. But the fact that the magazines make these articles available, free, in full text, without ads even (check the links I privide and you will see no ads!), tells me something. I have to believe that the editors know that these are some of their most catchy articles, and that they didn't end up on the web site by accident. I have to believe that they are there only after a good bit of soul searching around the editorial desk.

It's sad to see, but I take this as a sign that magazines (and newspapers) are on their deathbed.