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Los Angeles Times launches new membership program

February 24, 2012

The Los Angeles Times will begin charging readers for access to its online news, joining a growing roster of major news organizations looking for a way to offset declines in revenue.

Starting March 5, online readers will be asked to buy a digital subscription at an initial rate of 99 cents for four weeks. Readers who do not subscribe will be able to read 15 stories in a 30-day period for free.

Separately, The Times announced plans to launch a new weekly lifestyle section called Saturday for its print subscribers.

Other news outlets that have begun charging for online journalism include the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Dallas Morning News. Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper company, this week announced plans to launch a similar program at 80 publications, saying it could boost earnings by $100 million in 2013.

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Digital subscription programs are intended to increase revenue and reverse a long slide in paid subscriptions for printed newspapers as more people go to the Internet for news.

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