MEDIA: Times websites to merge in push for subscribers

The Times and Sunday Times websites are to merge next month as a

prelude to the introduction of more subscription-based services.



The Times online editor, Brigid Callaghan, will edit the merged site,

though it is not yet known what role her Sunday Times counterpart Graham

Duffill will have, according to publisher Katie Vanneck.



The new venture - Times Newspapers Online - will not be fully

operational until at least the first quarter of 2002. A brand identity

has not been decided and both URLs will operate for the foreseeable

future.



Most of the content will remain free, but an expanded archive section

will be the first new subscription service on the site, which will be

overseen by Keith Blackmore as editorial director. He is currently

sports editor of The Times.



The Times' online operation, times.co.uk, relaunched just a year ago

(PRWeek, 27 October 2000).



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