In today’s digital information landscape, many threats challenge the economic model of professional journalism. The adoption of customer-value models by the news media industry, however, is relatively recent. This paper aims to direct news consumption research toward an understanding of the role of customer value creation and brand loyalty in gathering and maintaining newspaper customer markets in the digital era. Understanding what customers value in different contexts, and what value creation strategies are appropriate in these contexts is central to recognizing new market growth opportunities and business model innovation. In this paper, I discuss the application of a formal customer-value lens for newspaper audience research. The results of this research provide insight into the ways that news consumers and new customers differ from one another. The findings show that a news customer’s willingness to pay may be directly related to perceived utility of professional journalism and their brand connection to the newspaper. These implications call for a reexamination of the strategic approaches that inform current newspaper business models. A conceptual framework for segmenting newspaper customer markets based on the extent to which customers will pay for branded news media content is proposed.