Ads suck. Sponsors are better. And actually having something to sell is best.
Check out the right column at Techdirt. Some sponsors, affiliate programs, and 1 ad. Amazon book recommendations are really good there - topical.
Torrent Freak has affiliate programs.
Infowars sells products.
The Oatmeal sells products.
The Activist Post has mostly affiliate programs, a few ads.
Explosm has an ad, but sells products.
Free Domain Radio has no ads and runs entirely on donations.
As Sam Axe might say, you know PageFair customers, a bunch of whiny little bitches.
"I can get eyeballs" is not a real business model. These whiners would be better off actually offering some kind of service that people are willing to pay for. Ads just mean that people might be willing to pay for someone else's product.
The venom in the comments at the article there is pretty much to be expected. No surprises.
One good comment there:
But make it easy and fun to pay for content, and people will embrace it and feel good about it.
This is a UX problem, not an economic problem.
Buddy nails it. What it turns out to be, well, "easy and fun" is the key. That just requires some thought and creativity. (I think the biggest burden there is that payments are horribly difficult at the moment, and the only truly easy way to pay is through Bitcoin.) So, is that possible? Maybe. I have a feeling that it would require a huge amount of effort though in order to get a mainstream payment system that worked easily.