Nytimes.com, FT.com to Swap Stories

NEW YORK — The online divisions of the New York Times and the Financial Times announced that they will swap news articles in a reciprocal content-sharing deal.

Under the terms of the agreement, New York Times Digital will publish up to 10 stories a day from the business, technology, and international sections of FT.com, the online unit of the London-based Financial Times. FT.com will be able to choose ten stories a day from a New York Times Digital newsfeed of selected stories, according to Christine Mohan, a spokeswoman for New York Times Digital.

The deal with FT.com is aimed at bolstering New York Times Digital’s international sections, according to Ms. Mohan. “This is basically a very complementary agreement,” she said. “We recently expanded our coverage of international business — this is the next step in that direction.”

Financial details of the arrangement weren’t disclosed.

Content-sharing is an easy way for Web companies to keep their sites fresh with new stories during a twenty-four news cycle. New York Times Digital publishes articles from the print New York Times and updates from the newspaper’s reporters, along with technology content from CNET Networks Inc. and financial news from MarketWatch Inc.

New York Times Digital previously operated a joint newsroom with financial news site TheStreet.com Inc. (TSCM) but ended the partnership in January 2001 and sold the majority of TheStreet.com shares it owned.

Amid an industrywide decline in advertising sales, the company has laid off workers twice so far this year. In its most recent quarterly earnings report, New York Times Co. (NYT) said that revenue for its online division decreased 12% to $15.3 million from $17.5 million the year before. Before taxes and other charges, the company said that its online business posted a profit for the quarter of $800,000, compared with a loss of $8.8 million a year earlier.

Pearson PLC (PSO), which owns the Financial Times, said in July that FT Internet enterprises “remain on track to break even by the end of 2002.”

FT.com operates a European joint venture with MarketWatch, FTMarketWatch.com, and publishes articles from other Financial Times Group newspapers. FT.com isn’t looking to fill any specific holes with New York Times Digital articles, said Gregory Roth, a spokesman for the company. “We’re not concentrating on any areas,” Roth said. “This broadens the breadth of stories that FT.com offers our readers.”

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