"As USA Today made newspapers reader-friendly, the online service will set new standards for ease of use, timeliness of information and thoroughness of content," said Tom Curley, president and publisher of USA Today.
Like its print parent, the online service will offer five sections that track news, life, sports, money and weather. At launch, sports coverage will go deeper than other sections, with continuously updated scores from professional, college and high school games, as well as photos.
Users will have the opportunity to interact with USA Today reporters and editors, newsmakers and other readers through e-mail and electronic bulletin boards. A fantasy baseball package is available at an additional charge.
Subscribers directly dial USA Today online as they would a bulletin board service, although the service is provided by Compuserve and allows access to Internet as well as to news.
"The Nation's Newspaper is headed for the Internet," read a brief in USA Today, which is misleading, since the service is not accessible from Internet, only by subscription at $14.95 a month for three hours online, with each additional hour costing $3.95.
Subscribers will receive a customized version of Compuserve's Mosaic browser, thanks to the company's recent acquisition of Spry.
The online service is the first product launched by the newly-formed USA Today Information Network. USA Today is a subsidiary of Gannett Co.
By: Willial Web AN ONLINE NEWS service based on USA Today debuted last month.