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 NEW YORK, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- TimesCard, a New York Times service that offers home delivery subscribers a discount at restaurants, retailers and other establishments, will join forces with Transmedia Network Inc. (NASDAQ: TMNI), one of the most successful dining card companies in the country, to offer TimesCard members a 25 percent discount at participating restaurants. In addition, the new joint Transmedia/TimesCard will become easier to use and offer access to more cultural and entertainment events than over before.
 The new program, which is expected to become effective in January, was announced today by William L. Pollak, executive vice president, sales of The New York Times and Melvin Chasen, chairman of Transmedia Network Inc.
 "Our aim is to serve subscribers and merchants in the program as best we can. We conducted focus groups and learned that our customers wanted a simpler and broader TimesCard program. So now, with the help of Transmedia, we are offering just that and on the same terms to subscribers as before," said Mr. Pollak.
 The combination with the Transmedia card, an international discount dining card that currently services more than 150,000 cardholders in the New York area, will offer TimesCard members a number of advantages.
 First, the new TimesCard program's offer of a 25 percent discount at participating Transmedia restaurants is a larger discount than currently available through the TimesCard. And, instead of having a number of different rates for different restaurants, the new Transmedia/TimesCard will provide one standard discount rate. Further, this dining card can be used in many cities throughout the United States and soon in London.
 Second, the TimesCard program will include more cultural and entertainment institutions than before, such as Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of TV and Broadcasting.
 Third, the new Transmedia/TimesCard discount card will function as a charge card rather than as an identification card at the point of sale. TimesCard holders previously were required to present a separate charge card for billing purposes. The new card only can be used as a charge card at participating restaurants.
 "We are delighted to team up with The Times and offer our expertise to such a select group of readers and merchants," said Mr. Chasen.
 Through the program, New York Times subscribers receive an opportunity to save on goods and services, while merchants get access to the Times' audience, which is comprised of affluent, active regular readers.
 TimesCard, which began in August 1992 and has more than 75,000 members, is a personalized card that is offered without charge to seven-day subscribers who pay for their subscription six months in advance. Other subscribers may obtain the card for a fee.
 TimesCard members will get a Transmedia dining directory, now listing more than 2,200 restaurants, and a directory of cultural, entertainment and retail establishments. The two directories are updated every six weeks.
 Transmedia Network Inc., was established in New York City in 1984 and is now headquartered in North Miami, where the company also runs its Cardmember Service Center. In addition to the New York metropolitan area, Transmedia operations are located in Boston, Philadelphia and its surrounding region, including Delaware, and South Florida. Five franchised operations cover most of New Jersey, Chicago, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, California and North and South Carolina. A licensing agreement establishing the company's business in the United Kingdom and Europe was signed in August.
 The New York Times Company is a media company with $1.8 billion in revenues in the following lines of business: newspapers, magazines, broadcasting, information services and forest products. This month it completed its merger with Affiliated Publications, Inc., the parent company of The Boston Globe, which had $414 million in revenues in 1992. Times Company Class A common stock is listed on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol NYT.A.
 To subscribe to The New York Times and enroll in the TimesCard program, call 800-631-2500.
 -0- 10/18/93
 /CONTACT: Nancy Nielsen, 212-556-7078, William Adler, 212-556-7077, for The New York Times, or Ronald Kieves, 305-892-3300, Stephen Berg, 212-580-8760, for Transmedia Network Inc./

CO: The New York Times; Transmedia Network Inc. ST: New York IN: FIN PUB SU: JVN

SH -- NY003 -- 3206 10/18/93 09:07 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 18, 1993

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