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New York Times to charge frequent users of its site

January 20, 2010 |  6:59 am

In an announcement that's sure to be felt throughout the newspaper industry, the New York Times said today that next year it will begin charging a fee to frequent users of its website.

Readers will get an unspecified number of articles for free in a month and then be asked to pay a flat fee for continued, unlimited use, the announcement said. Neither the number of free articles per month nor the fee was specified in the announcement posted on the New York Times site this morning. 

The parent company's chairman, Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., said those matters had yet to be determined. "We can't get this halfway right or three-quarters of the way right," he said. "We have to get this really, really right."

The New York Times fees will be charged beginning in early 2011.

Most newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, do not currently charge fees to access articles on their websites, although many papers -- including this one -- have experimented with online pay structures and then abandoned them.

Here's the report from the New York Times.

-- David Colker