NYTimes.com to Charge for Some Content

NEW YORK The New York Times Co. said it would begin charging non-subscribers to access parts of its Web site.

The TimesSelect product, slated for introduction in September, will put some NYTimes.com content behind a $49.95 per year subscription wall for those not already getting the paper delivered to their homes. Most of the site will remain free, the company said, with TimesSelect containing opinion articles from the Times and International Herald Tribune, archives access, some multimedia content and e-mail alerts for tracking news stories.

The centerpiece of TimesSelect will be access to the paper’s most popular opinion and news columnists, including Tom Friedman, Frank Rich and Selena Roberts. While some multimedia content, including online video and podcasts, will also be part of TimesSelect, a client representative said the vast majority of multimedia content would remain ad-supported.

The move comes five months after chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. told Business Week that the paper risked training young readers not to pay for news content that is expensive to produce. Times executives subsequently downplayed the prospects of moving the site to a full subscription model like The Wall Street Journal. The Times already charges for some products, such as its crossword puzzles, archives and news tracker.

The Web arms of newspaper companies have grown in importance, as the news industry struggles with declining circulations, an aging readership and dwindling classified revenue as consumers turn to Web services like Craig’s List. According to a recent report by the Carnegie Foundation, Internet portals are the main source of news for 18- to 34-year olds.