Yes, this is called "the old media" and it is on the way out. Do you realize how hard it was to get advertisers on board with your publication in those days?
The whole point of profiling you as a user is to show you ads that make sense to show. There is nothing morally wrong with this. You want to use my service, I need you to tell me about yourself so that I can convince my advertisers that showing you an ad is worth something instead of nothing. You get an ad that is relevant to you, I get paid to run the service, and it all happens automatically.
If I instead had to pitch my service to advertisers to run first party ads, I would also have to convince them that my impression counts are accurate and that my target demographic is what I claim it is. How am I supposed to do that without an impartial third party? Am I supposed to survey my users, taking their precious time?
Of course this is all possible, but only for big companies. It's not CNN or Fox or even Google that is going to go bankrupt. They can adapt their model. For the upstarts, you'd be nipping them in the bud. The big guys will thank you for that.