According to this quick article in Editor & Publisher, the New York Times Digital ceased sending breaking news version of it's emailed News Tracker service several months ago because "of technical delays resulting from having more than 1 million users."
On this Wednesday they plan to tell the 500,000 regular News Tracker email recipients that the service will not be free anymore. The service will cost $19.95 year starting June 13th and go up to $29.95 sometime later (which allows NYT marketers to plug a $10.00 off offer for a while now).
This news underlines one harsh fact: Email isn't no-cost to send. It may be cheaper than postal mail, but it's not free.
When I joined a NEPA roundtable on the economics of publishing yesterday, the moderator said, "Oh here's Anne who doesn't have to worry about spending money on fulfillment." I immediately objected, "Hey I spend a lot on email list hosting and on email production staff, not to mention building the back-end database and Web design and hosting. Online publishing isn't cheap or free." Everyone looked startled. Well, welcome to reality.