The Times Selects Payment Service

The online version of The New York Times today intends to launch a paid service, TimesSelect, which will put some of the paper's most popular voices--including David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, and Nicholas Kristof--behind a paid wall.

Access to these and other columnists, plus exclusive features and the Times's archives, now requires either $7.95 per month or $49.49 per year. TimesSelect is available to home-delivery subscribers free.

Some of the now-premium columnists will add other multimedia features to their online columns. For example, Thomas Friedman will conduct a dialogue, inviting readers to submit questions and comments from which he will regularly select, respond to, and post the exchange. Conservative David Brooks' column, "The Way We Live Now," will include links to essays and notable Web content.

"TimesSelect is a terrific example of how The New York Times continues to grow its journalism in highly innovative ways across all platforms," Scott Heekin-Canedy, president of The New York Times, said in a prepared statement.

Also, Bob Herbert's "Herbert's Heroes" will feature short takes on unsung heroes, with extensive links to their biographies and backgrounds, while Frank Rich's "Everyone's a Critic" will invite readers to post questions and engage in debate.

"John Tierney's Book Club" will feature a roster of selected reading with online discussions, and economist Paul Krugman's "Money Talks" will feature postings on economics and international finance and will entertain comments and questions from readers.

Nicholas Kristof's "On the Ground" will feature filings with text, audio, and video from his reporting trips around the globe.

The Times's archive, which was already a premium service, is accessible to paying customers in the form of up to 100 articles a month.

Other features include the Times File, a new tool that helps readers save and organize articles from the Times and other Web sites, and the Times Preview, an early look at articles that will appear in the real estate, travel, magazine, and book review sections.

There is also a News Tracker feature, which alerts readers to subjects that are relevant to them via e-mail.

The New York Times Company reported 2004 revenues of $3.3 billion, and includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers, eight network-affiliated television stations, two New York City radio stations, and 35 Web sites, including NYTimes.com, Boston.com, and About.com.

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