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Fee likely for Times's news via iPhone

Bloomberg News / June 24, 2009
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NEW YORK - The New York Times Co., publisher of the namesake newspaper, is likely to begin charging users to access its news on mobile devices before it does so on its websites, the head of digital operations said yesterday.

The company is considering paid subscriptions on devices, including Apple Inc.’s iPhone, that allow for less advertising than the Web, Martin Nisenholtz said in an interview following a speech. The publisher hasn’t yet determined whether or how to charge for access to its sites, he said.

“Mobile offers a better opportunity for paid content,’’ Nisenholtz said in his remarks. “For publishers to offer their content for free in the mobile platform forever without getting paid very much money, I don’t think it’s going to be tenable.’’

The Times Co. is studying means for charging for some news content online as advertising sales and circulation continue to decline.

The New York Times newspaper is currently available free on the iPhone, while the publisher charges a fee to access its content on Amazon.com’s Kindle portable reader. Nisenholtz said he expected the newspaper will eventually be available on multiple e-readers.

The Times Co. also owns The Boston Globe.