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The New York Times edges closer to charging for online content

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The New York Times will begin charging readers for access to NYTimes.com in coming weeks, New York magazine reports this morning, citing anonymous sources at the Times. Gabriel Sherman, the author of the New York piece, which was published on the popular New York blog Daily Intel, points out the move could be timed to sync with the release of the Apple Tablet.

A Times spokesperson declined to comment on the New York report. "We'll announce a decision when we believe that we have crafted the best possible business approach," Diane McNulty told CNET. "No details till then." Still, speculation about the role of the Tablet in the Times' multimedia strategy roiled the Web this morning, as bloggers tripped over themselves to gather the latest news on the Apple Tablet.

Last Oct., the blogosphere was enveloped by a similar frenzy after an apparent slip-up from Times executive editor Bill Keller, who mentioned an Apple "slate" in a discussion with editorial staff. (The Times speech was broadcast by the Nieman Journalism Lab.) Officially, the Times had no comment. But many analysts assumed that the Times and Apple had already formed some sort of partnership.

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