The company pitched the possibility of micro-payments (not a new idea) but paid through its Google Checkout as one possibility. For example (Google's response to the RFI via Neiman Journalism Lab, which broke the story):
The idea is to allow viable payments of a penny to several dollars by aggregating purchases across merchants and over time...
We envision the typical scenario to be where a user pays a monthly fee for access to a wide-ranging package of premium content. One example of a “package” might be full access to the WSJ [Wall Street Journal]; another “package” might include the top 10 business publications. Google believes that there is real power and benefit to publishers in providing these sorts of broad, multi-publication access passes.
Google and its free access to online news through its aggregator Google News is not always on friendly terms with newspaper editors. But if Google solves newspapers income problem, will both sides make nice? That might depend on who takes home the $.