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BELLSOUTH AND COX TO FORM INFO SERVICES VENTURE

 ATLANTA, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- BellSouth Enterprises (BSE) and Cox Enterprises, Inc., announced today an agreement in principle to form a joint venture to develop and market a family of new electronic information services based on newspaper classified and yellow pages advertising.
 Under the agreement, BellSouth Enterprises, owner of BellSouth Advertising and Publishing Corp., publishers of The Real Yellow Pages(R), and Cox Enterprises, owners of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, will form a joint venture to be owned equally by the two companies.
 The new venture will introduce the services in Atlanta and West Palm Beach, offering consumers and businesses access to new electronic services that contain information of the type found in area yellow pages directories and local newspaper classified advertising. The Atlanta services will be introduced in late 1993.
 The new joint venture company will work with other newspaper companies to offer similar comprehensive services in markets throughout the southeastern U.S.
 "We're creating a new, extremely rich source of local information for consumers," said Donald J. Perozzi, president of BellSouth's Advertising & Publishing Group. "We're excited about this opportunity and we're anxious to work with other partners to bring information age services to consumers elsewhere."
 "This is a great model for newspapers who want to move into the electronic world and who are willing to work with new partners," said David Easterly, president of Cox Newspapers.
 Initially, the new services will be accessed with conventional telephones by dialing a single telephone number. In the first phase of the trial, services will be accessed either through audiotext or an attendant, with the customer being charged on a per call basis. In later stages, callers also will be able to access the information via personal computer, videotext, screenphone, facsimile ane?lectronic transmissio n.
 "Through the Palm Beach Post, we have been providing information services using the 511 number since March," said Easterly. "If authorized, we hope to make the services of this joint venture also available using 511." Cox was granted permission last month to use 511 in the Atlanta area.
 For advertisers in The Real Yellow Pages and The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, the services will add value to their current advertising. The ads will be updated as frequently as necessary, allowing advertisers to customize their messages (e.g., announce sales, events, special store hours, etc.) quickly and easily.
 The joint venture will have its own management team, which will operate and oversee all aspects of the business including sales, marketing, advertising and promotion, operations, billing and collection. It will operate under the direction of a six-person board of directors, three from each of the parent companies.
 The transaction is subject to the execution of mutually acceptable definitive agreements.
 BellSouth (NYSE: BLS) is an international telecommunications holding company. Its subsidiaries offer local telephone service in nine Southeastern states and mobile communications service worldwide, provide advertising and publishing services, and market and maintain stand-alone and fully integrated communications services.
 Cox Enterprises is a major media company which includes 17 daily newspapers, 24 cable television systems and 20 radio and television stations in the U.S. A fourth division, Manheim Auctions, is the world's largest operator of auto auctions, with 46 locations in the United States and two in Canada.
 -0- 6/9/93
 /CONTACT: Tim Klein, 404-249-4135, or Scott Ticer, 404-249-2824, both of BellSouth, or Lynda Stewart of Cox Enterprises, 404-843-5123/
 (BLS)


CO: BellSouth Enterprises; Cox Enterprises, Inc. ST: Georgia, Florida IN: CPR TLS SU: JVN PDT

BN-TG -- AT007 -- 0247 06/09/93 15:20 EST
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 9, 1993
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