The closure of Tiso Blackstar’s print version of The Times in December 2017 was a blow to many subscribers.
At the time, the company promised readers a new “premium product” early in the new year. But now, in the last week of January 2018, some are questioning when they will have access to the new digital version of the newspaper, and asked The Media Online to find out as queries hadn’t yet been answered.
“Times Select will launch on 1 February as South Africa’s first digital daily edition,” Andrew Trench, group digital editor at the Tiso Blackstar Group, told The Media Online.
“It has been designed to capture much of what made The Times in print so popular and includes all our major columnists like Justice Malala, Ranjeni Munusamy, Tom Eaton, Jonathan Jansen, Darrel Bristow-Bovey, Tony Leon, and others alongside premium domestic news,” he said.
Trench said Times Select has been designed to “cut out the news noise for readers who are overloaded with information or who are too busy to spend their lives glued to a screen”. Trench said unlike other digital news operations in South Africa, the new production would not “produce a near-endless stream of breaking news”.
Times Select, said Trench, will publish Monday to Friday at 5am along with an emailed morning newsletter. Existing Sunday Times subscriber will access it as part of their subscription. But it will also be offered as a standalone to other readers. “It is about smart news in one take, an intelligent read for those who want their news organised in a clever and convenient daily digital package,” said Trench.
He said existing subscribers would soon receive a formal communication about the launch now that Tiso Blackstar has finalised the launch date, adding that he was “confident that we are able to meet the launch deadline in developing and producing the new product”.