Scripps joins consortium to acquire Internet classified network

Mon, January 25, 1999 by Mark Kroeger

NEW YORK, N.Y.-- AdOne Classified Network, the premier Internet classifieds business, today announced the company and its ClassifiedWarehouse.com consumer Web site have been acquired by a consortium of leading U.S. media companies seeking to create the nation's largest locally-based Internet site of online classified advertising.The partnership projects that ClassifiedWarehouse.com's fully searchable classified advertising database, which averages more than three million new ads per month, will grow to in excess of six million new classifieds per month by the end of the first half of the year.The new company, known as AdOne, L.L.C., is the first purely Internet start-up backed by a consortium composed of blue-chip traditional media and new media companies.The acquiring media consortium includes MediaNews Group, the seventh largest newspaper company in the United States, The Hearst Corporation, one of the nation's largest diversified communications companies, The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP - news), a diversified media company and the nation's tenth largest newspaper publisher, Advance Publications Inc., a diversified media company publishing newspapers in 22 markets, and Donrey Media Group, a wholly owned affiliate of Stephens Group, Inc., of Little Rock, Arkansas.Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS - news), the second most visited Internet portal, will play an important role in the success of this new partnership through its distribution agreement with AdOne and ClassifiedWarehouse.com.We are thrilled these blue-chip media companies have chosen to back our vision of an open network composed of locally-based classified advertising from premium media properties in large, medium and small markets,'' says AdOne, L.L.C. President and CEO Brendan Burns.AdOne brought together this unique group of high-caliber traditional and new media companies because of their strong belief in our inclusive corporate partnership philosophy.''AdOne is the premier Internet classifieds business for two fundamental reasons. First, we bolster our affiliates' positions as the most significant information hubs in their local communities. Second, ClassifiedWarehouse.com is the Internet's most comprehensive classified marketplace that enables consumers and advertisers to transact business,'' says Burns.The new AdOne, affiliated media partners, and the company's ClassifiedWarehouse.com consumer site are solidly positioned to play the leading role in the rapidly expanding $123 million online classifieds marketplace -- a market which industry experts predict will grow to nearly $2 billion by 2002.With completion of the acquisition, AdOne and its ClassifiedWarehouse.com consumer site now feature: -- Strong backing from four of the top 10 U.S. newspaper media companies and a leading Internet portal; -- Significant market penetration in 38 of the top 50 U.S. media markets; -- More than 350 affiliated media properties in the top 50 U.S. media markets; -- The highest quality, most comprehensive collection of Internet classifieds updated daily from leading newspapers and top-brand online providers; -- A classifieds database predicted to grow to in excess of six million new classifieds per month by mid-1999; and -- Established distribution deals with leading Internet brands such as Lycos, the second most visited Internet portal.The consortium was brought together as a result of a commitment in the third quarter of 1998 from MediaNews Group, as the consortium's lead investor, coupled with strategic initiatives completed by AdOne's management team during the third and fourth quarters of 1998.About AdOne, L.L.C.AdOne, L.L.C. is the premier Internet classifieds business. As an open media network, AdOne implements innovative marketing approaches that significantly extend the online distribution and revenue generating opportunities of classifieds for its media partners in large, medium, and small markets. AdOne's ClassifiedWarehouse.com consumer site is the Internet's most comprehensive collection of premium classified advertising from leading newspapers and top-brand online providers that enables buyers and advertisers to conduct transactions in the most efficient manner possible. AdOne media partners include the New York Daily News, Star-Ledger, San Francisco Examiner, Los Angeles Daily News, Houston Chronicle, Denver Post(and soon the Denver Rocky Mountain News), Memphis Commercial Appeal, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Community Newspaper Company, Plain Dealer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Lycos, theglobe.com, Autoweb.com, AdStar, CarCast, Dealer Specialties, Rent.net, SelectJobs, Recruiters Online and Net-Temps. AdOne, L.L.C. is backed by Advance Publications, Donrey Media Group, The E.W. Scripps Company, The Hearst Corporation, Lycos, Inc. and MediaNews Group. Founded in 1995, AdOne is based in New York City's Silicon Alley. About The ConsortiumAdvance Publications Inc.Advance Publications Inc. is the owner of newspapers in 22 cities as wellas Advance Internet Inc. (www.advance.net), a network of local Web portals;Conde Nast magazines, publisher of 17 magazines including Vogue, Glamour,Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Wired; CondeNet, creator of lifestyle webservices, including Epicurious Food & Travel (www.epicurious.com), Phys(www.phys.com), and Swoon (www.swoon.com); Parade; React (www.react.com); andAmerican City Business Journals, a network of local business newspapers(www.amcity.com). Advance Internet Inc. is currently responsible for thedevelopment and management of nine local Web sites that are created inalliance with newspapers owned and operated by Advance Publications Inc. TheWeb sites include New Jersey Online (www.nj.com); Michigan Live(www.mlive.com); Cleveland Live (www.cleveland.com); Oregon Live(www.oregon1ive.com); Alabama Live (www.al.com); New Orleans Net(www.nola.com); Syracuse Online (www.syracuse.com); MassLive(www.masslive.com); and Staten Island Live (www.silive.com). In addition,affiliates of Advance Internet Inc. produce the Web sites Rain or Shine(www.rainorshine.com) and The Yuckiest Site on the Internet (www.yucky.com).Donrey Media GroupThe Donrey Media Group owns 14 daily newspapers including The Las Vegas Review-Journal, one of the fastest growing newspapers in the U.S., nine outdoor advertising companies and one television station, and operates in 11 states.The E.W. Scripps CompanyThe E.W. Scripps Company operates 19 daily newspapers; nine network-affiliated television stations; two TV networks, Home & Garden Television and the Food Network; a TV progammer, Scripps Productions; United Media, worldwide syndicator and licensor of news features and comics; Scripps Howard News Service; and publishes independent Yellow Pages directories.The Hearst CorporationThe Hearst Corporation (www.hearstcorp.com) is one of the nation's largest diversified communications companies, with interests in magazine, newspaper, book and business publishing; television and radio stations; newspaper comics and features syndication; cable television networks; television production and syndication; and new media activities. Hearst Newspapers, an operating group of The Hearst Corporation, publishes 12 daily and seven weekly newspapers.MediaNews GroupWilliam Dean Singleton and Richard B. Scudder formed MediaNews Group, Inc. (MediaNews'') in 1983 to purchase and manage newspaper companies in the United States. Today, MediaNews manages newspaper companies with combined daily and Sunday circulation of approximately 1,547,000 and 1,678,000, as of March 31, 1998, ranking it as the seventh largest newspaper company in the United States. Newspaper companies under the management of MediaNews include Affiliated Newspapers Investments, Inc. and Fairbanks Publishing Company. Affiliated Newspapers is a holding company, which owns 100 percent of Garden State Newspapers, Inc. and 60 percent of Denver Newspapers, Inc.Lycos, Inc.Founded in 1995, Lycos, Inc. is a leading Web media company and owner of the Lycos Network, the second most visited hub on the Internet reaching 45.2 percent of all Web users. With a unified set of Web sites, the Lycos Network is the fastest growing Web network and the world's largest online community. The Lycos Network attracts a diverse audience by offering a variety of services, including leading Web navigation resources, homepage building and other Web community services and a comprehensive shopping center. The Lycos Network is composed of premium sites: Lycos.com, Tripod, WhoWhere, Angelfire, MailCity, HotBot, HotWired, Wired News, Webmonkey and Suck.com. Headquartered near Boston in Waltham, Mass., Lycos, Inc. is a global Internet leader with a major presence throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.Lycos® is a registered trademark of Carnegie Mellon University. All other product or service marks mentioned herein are those of Lycos or their respective owners. All rights reserved.