It’s Time for electronic mag

Time magazine, the nation’s oldest newsweekly, will be available electronically by computer starting in September.

Each Sunday, Time announced Monday, stories from the week’s issue will be released to customers of America Online, which provides news, sports, weather and financial information and other services via personal computer.

The move is the first by a newsmagazine to offer a full electronic version of its current issue. Washington Post Co.’s Newsweek last year launched a quarterly version of the magazine on specially designed/edited multimedia CD-ROM disks.

Initially, only the text of stories in Time will be available online. Photos and graphics will probably become available later, said Walter Isaacson, Time’s assistant managing editor. There are no current plans to include advertising in the service, he said.

In addition to the opportunity to read the magazine a day before it hits the newsstands, America Online customers will be able to converse with Time editors and reporters and other online subscribers by using the service’s computer bulletin boards.

The precise date for the first electronic edition of Time hasn’t been announced.

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