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Times launches application for hand-held mobile devices

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Get ready to digest news on the go, readers, because the Watertown Daily Times is now available on hand-held mobile devices.

The free apps can be found at online marketplaces for any mobile Apple or Android device.

John B. Johnson, general manager of Northern New York Newspapers Corp., said the launch of the service reflects the commitment of the Watertown Daily Times to giving its subscribers multiple media platforms for consuming news.

“From a strategic perspective, we needed to be on a flexible platform to deliver news in print, online and through our e-edition reader on iPods, iPhones and Android devices,” he said. “It's time for us to think about the future, and we need to have a platform for delivering electronic content. Readers are going to want the convenience of digesting news on the fly.”

The launch of the application is the latest in a series of products the Times has introduced in the past three years. It started its e-edition and new website in 2012 and has added a series of print products, including NNY Business, NNY Living and NNY Golf.

Subscription numbers in 2012 showed that more readers are gravitating to the Web for news, Mr. Johnson said. The number of electronic subscribers has jumped since the Times launched its e-edition in the fall, and he expects that to continue as readers see the advantages of being able to access local news anytime, anywhere.

“People are now visiting the website more, and they're spending more time per visit,” he said.

Convenience is the name of the game when it comes to the e-edition. Readers can hop from page to page as if they are holding the newspaper, and they can click on interactive links and advertisements to visit websites and surf the Web. They can receive alerts by email when news is released about specific topics they select.

The Times sets itself apart from competitors with its original reporting, Mr. Johnson said, which is made possible by journalists covering news of the north country.

“It's something we can protect and grow,” Mr. Johnson said. “We cover school districts, city council meetings and local government to educate the taxpaying public. And there are a lot of good stories in this community that reporters bring to our readers. It's something we need to leverage to stay competitive in the future.”

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