I’ve paid for news before and they still bloat their pages with ads to track me. It’s not a matter of people not wanting to pay. Customers are willing to pay for X and Y if and when it nets them a positive gain in their experience with a product. The problem is more about how these corporations are constantly making our experiences worse while also still tracking our every click.
The problem is that publishers apparently(!) cannot properly distinguish between ad-driven revenue streams and good/loyal-customer revenue streams. (I don't know why this is even an issue, but here we are.)
Do NOT serve ads to your loyal revenue stream. Even if you can't make ends meet, do NOT do it. That will piss them off to no end, and they're your most loyal readers; they'll leave and never come back.
Think about it from the advertisers’ perspective:
You have a user base with a bunch of people. The ones that paid you to remove ads are, at least on average, wealthier than those that don’t. They certainly have disposable income.
In other words, the people that paid for a subscription are exactly the fraction of the audience the advertiser is paying for access to!
Of course, this argument falls apart for per-user targeted ads when ad blockers are prevalent. However, it makes perfect sense for display ads that are targeted based on content, or audience demographics, such as traditional mass media: tv, radio and newspapers.
In fact, the logic seems to extend to any website that is trying to charge an above-bottom-feeder premium for ad real estate.