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USA TODAY LAUNCHES SKY RADIO ON UNITED AIRLINES COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS

USA TODAY LAUNCHES SKY RADIO ON UNITED AIRLINES COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS
 NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in commercial aviation history, air travelers were able to tune in to news, business reports and destination-city weather information live. USA TODAY Sky Radio, the world's first live, satellite-delivered, in-flight audio information service, conducted its inaugural broadcast on a commercial flight today.
 Sky Radio is designed to provide air travelers with around-the- clock news, business, sports and weather coverage. Sky Radio's inaugural flight took place on United Airlines flight 97, a Boeing 757, which left Newark at 7:59 a.m. Eastern Time and landed in Los Angeles at 10:40 a.m. Pacific Time.
 "Today marks a series of milestones," said William O. Hider, president of USA TODAY Sky Radio. "This was the first time, ever, commercial air travelers enjoyed live news and information via an aircraft's audio entertainment system. A new advertising medium began today, tapping into one of the most educated, affluent and elusive audiences imaginable. And, the catalyst for it all is the very latest in airborne satellite communications and antenna technology.
 "Passengers on this historic flight heard today's late-breaking news, sports and weather information in an exceptionally clear, clutter-free broadcast," said Hider.
 "We are pleased and proud to be the first airline to introduce this outstanding new service to passengers," said Adam Aron, senior vice president of marketing for United Airlines. "Sky Radio will serve as a vital link to the world for our passengers, enabling them to keep abreast of today's news -- events that affect both their personal and professional lives."
 Sky Radio is designed to provide air travelers with around-the- clock news, business, sports and weather coverage. Tailored specifically to the needs of the business traveler audience, the majority of Sky Radio's programming is produced by a full-time broadcast staff located at Sky Radio's studios near Washington. Sky Radio also has agreements with CNN and the Mutual Broadcasting System for each to supply a range of additional high-profile programming, including "The Larry King Show" from Mutual and complete access to CNN's worldwide news gathering network.
 "This inaugural commercial flight signifies the beginning of revolutionary changes in commercial in-flight entertainment," said Hider. "Sky Radio's future plans include expanding into the international marketplace and into live video."
 A Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) was issued on Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration to United Airlines and USA TODAY Sky Radio after the successful conformity flight required for issuance. The formal flight test was in complete compliance giving Sky Radio full approval to proceed with the installation of United's entire 757 fleet.
 This fall, Sky Radio plans to launch a 24-hour sports channel, giving fans an entire channel of sports news, interviews and features by some of the USA TODAY Sports section and USA TODAY Baseball Weekly writers, along with live play-by-play sports.
 Sky Radio is operated by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), which publishes USA TODAY, the United States' only national, daily, general-interest newspaper. Printed at 32 locations across the country, USA TODAY also prints its International Edition in Europe and Asia. The newspaper is available worldwide.
 United Airlines, the primary subsidiary of UAL Corporation (NYSE: UAL), provides passengers and cargo air transportation to 162 airports worldwide. United is one of the free world's largest passenger airlines and is the world's largest non-freighter cargo carrier. Each day, the airline offers more than 2,000 departures and carries more than 155,000 passengers. United operates major hubs in Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Washington, Tokyo and London.
 -0- 9/1/92
 /NOTE: Sky Radio is a service mark./
 /CONTACT: Steve Anderson of USA TODAY, 703-276-5872 or, after hours, 703-771-8042; or Joe Hopkins of United Airlines, 708-952-5770 or, after hours, 708-952-4088/
 (GCI UAL) CO: USA TODAY; United Airlines ST: Illinois IN: AIR SU: PDT


IH-TW -- DC014 -- 5571 09/01/92 16:07 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Sep 1, 1992
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