WASHINGTON POST COMPANY LAUNCHES NEW SUBSIDIARY TO CREATE LOCAL AND NATIONAL ELECTRONIC 'PUBLICATIONS'
WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO) announced today it is creating a new subsidiary, Digital Ink Co., to produce news and information products for distribution by computer, fax and telephone. One of Digital Ink's first products will be an online version of The Washington Post newspaper, which is scheduled to go into service in July 1994. Digital Ink also will be developing a variety of other electronic products for distribution nationally and locally. Many of these products will exploit the resources of Newsweek magazine, the company's broadcast and cable divisions and the Legi-Slate government information data base service, as well as The Washington Post newspaper. Digital Ink plans to distribute products that combine text, graphics, photos, moving pictures, music and sound. They will be usable on computers, cable television, portable computers, telephones and new wireless communication devices. The online version of The Washington Post will go beyond the traditional newspaper, with expanded information, advertising and interactive capabilities, and a format that represents a significant improvement over most existing online products. Donald E. Graham, chairman and chief executive officer of The Washington Post Company and publisher of The Washington Post, said: "By transferring The Post's traditional quality and content to a new electronic medium, this new service will combine the best of the newspaper with the best of the personal computer. It will be the first place Washingtonians can turn for online news and information, and it will offer advertisers a new and dynamic marketplace. We believe the service's user-friendly format, interactive capabilities and expanded information content will strengthen our community." Unlike current electronic services that simply provide computerized newspaper or magazine text, Digital Ink's service will use the newspaper's headlines, type styles and graphics. For ease of access and retrieval, stories will be grouped according to The Post's regular sections: front page, sports, metro, style, business, etc. Users also will be able to find and index stories based on their personal preferences. Interactivity will be a vital component of the new service. The online Washington Post will offer electronic mail and interactive chat capabilities, enabling users to communicate with each other and with Post writers and editors. New features will be developed, such as in- depth sports statistics on demand, a variety of original games, and a "Soap Opera" section in which users will be able to contribute chapters to an ongoing and constantly expanding narrative. The service also will offer information not available in the printed newspaper, including more detailed neighborhood news, texts of speeches and press conferences and a comprehensive guide to entertainment in Washington. In addition, the service will provide electronic access to Post archives for quick retrieval of past articles and a connection to the Internet global computer network. The online Washington Post will include both display and classified advertising. An important feature of the new service will be the ability to place classified advertisements directly through home or business personal computers. In addition, new advertising services targeted to specific audiences will be offered, including products designed for the real estate, entertainment and auto markets. Alan G. Spoon, president and chief operating officer of The Washington Post Company, said: "People in the information age expect to be involved in their media, empowered to make choices and define personal environments, linked to others with common interests and insistent on their ability to take action based on what they've found out. This service and others that will be developed by Digital Ink will respond to these expectations." Richard M. Smith, editor-in-chief and president of Newsweek, said: "These new ventures of The Washington Post Company create exciting opportunities. The combination of Newsweek's 24 million readers with the resources of The Washington Post newspaper will create a unique and important force in electronic publishing." Donald K. Brazeal has been named editor and publisher of Digital Ink. He had been editor of The Post's Weekend section. Mark Potts has been appointed director of product development of Digital Ink; he had been The Post's new-media editor. Brazeal and Potts have been working on prototypes of new electronic products and exploring business opportunities in electronic publishing for the past year. Digital Ink also will manage The Post's existing Post-Haste audiotext service, which provides sports scores, stock quotes, lottery numbers, soundbites and other information via telephone and Post articles via fax. Post-Haste currently receives 16 million information requests a year. -0- 11/11/93 /CONTACT: Donald K. Brazeal, 202-334-7330, Internet: dbrazeal at access.digex.net, APPLELINK: BRAZEAL.POST, or Guyon Knight, 202-334-6642, both of The Washington Post Company/ (WPO)
CO: The Washington Post Company ST: District of Columbia IN: PUB SU: PDT
KD-DC -- DC006 -- 3139 11/11/93 10:15 EST
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|Date:||Nov 11, 1993|
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