The New York Times experimented with paid content before, without much success, but that's not stopping them from giving it a go again. This time, however, the paid-to-free content changeover might coincide with a certain unconfirmed mystery tablet.

The NYT announcement is expected to arrive in the "coming weeks," which puts it smack dab in the middle of Apple's mystery product press conference, slated for January 27. Convenient!

According to New York magazine, the paid content model could also arrive hand-in-hand with an Apple partnership or distribution deal.

It's all just industry rumor and buzz for now, of course, but the part about a media partnership rings true considering all the Apple meetings and news we heard on that front in 2009. [New York Magazine via CNET]