The Los Angeles Times recently made news by announcing a Web-only service
slated for the spring, scrapping its TimesLink service on Prodigy. Also part
of the announcement was that the Times was buying entertainment site
Hollywood Online , and signing a deal with Architext Software Inc , owners
of the Excite Web indexing service. Harry Chandler, director of new media for
Times Mirror Inc.'s flagship newspaper, tells NetDaily of his high
expectations for the venture.
"In terms of Excite, it's no secret that on the Web, the Excites and
Yahoos and InfoSeeks are among the most-visited sites, so if anyone will
turn a profit from advertising, it will be them," he says. "Between the L.A.
Times and the Southern California version of Excite's Architext they're
creating, we'll have the highest trafficked site in Southern California."
The deal with Architext, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., is
described as "an exclusive partnership." Terms were not disclosed. A new
Excite site will be fully integrated with the L.A. Times site, and will launch
at the same time.
"Our game plan is to continue to be the No. 1 regional information partner,"
Chandler says. "Both Excite and the plans for our Web site will keep us
Hollywood Online should prove profitable this year, after breaking even at
the end of 1995, adds Chandler, who joined the newspaper in 1994 after a
career in TV production. He is also the great-grandson of the Harry Chandler
who built the Times in the early 20th century.
Stuart Halperin, a co-founder of Hollywood Online and now executive vice
president, tells NetDaily he's very excited to be working for Chandler. "It
was a great match-great synergy, to overuse the cliche. The concept of having
access to their content and all the capital resources [means] we'll build the
staff significantly [and] create projects together. It's a very enticing
possibility." The Hollywood Online Web site now draws 450,000 hits per day,
and the company has operations on all the major commercial onliners.