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New York Times Eyes Apple Tablet Potential

The U.S. newspaper industry is already using new technology to boost flagging readership and, potentially, reduce production costs. The New York Times and the Washington Post (WPO), for example, have already launched trials offering their content on Amazon's (AMZN - Get Report) Kindle device.

Electronic books such as the Kindle or Sony's (SNE - Get Report) Reader, however, do not offer color displays, so there could be an opportunity here for richer Tablet-based newspaper content.

Tablets could also help solve one of the biggest challenges newspapers have faced in recent years - how to cope with the exodus of readers and advertisers to the Internet. As this stage, though, it is unclear how companies like the New York Times could monetize their business via Tablets, compared to, say, readers accessing newspaper Web sites on their laptops.

The Times' Tablet plans come at a critical juncture for the newspaper industry, which is now seeing some glimmers of hope after a torrid few years. Earlier this week, for example, newspaper stocks rose after Gannett (GCI), the biggest newspaper publisher in the U.S., forecast third-quarter earnings well above Wall Street's low expectations.

Gannett's stock continued its upward trajectory Wednesday, rising 98 cents, or 8.3%, to reach $12.73. Shares of the New York Times, however, fell 18 cents, or 2.15%, to $8.21 during the same period.

--Written by James Rogers in New York

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