Yahoo! Converges on Broadcasters

An Internet guide joins with Granite Broadcasting and Digital as it looks to fuel its growth through a variety of partners

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! Inc., one of the first Internet guides, said it has signed deals with a number of strategic partners to better leverage more traditional communication channels and expand its global marketshare.

Last week, Granite Broadcasting Corp. said it would be looking to combine the reach of television with the content available on Yahoo!, adding another component to the much-touted convergence of on-line and traditional communications.

Yahoo! and San Jose, Calif.-based Granite will work together to integrate relevant World Wide Web sites and information into the Granite newscasts and the stations' own Web sites. Yahoo! will also feature local news feeds from the Granite stations. Within the next month, all nine Granite network-affiliated stations will launch the service. Eventually, such a plan can be replicated by Voice of America and other government news broadcasts.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! and Maynard, Mass.-based Digital Equipment Corp. earlier this month reached an agreement where Digital's AltaVista World Wide Web search service will be included in Yahoo!'s Internet Guide. In addition to providing content, the arrangement would allow Yahoo! to offer advertisers an option to place ads on all AltaVista search results appearing on its site.

The plan is for Yahoo! to feature AltaVista as its preferred search engine, with the results displayed on the Yahoo! Web site.

"Digital has the global presence to continue to develop AltaVista, which is important as Yahoo! expands internationally," said Tim Koogle, president and CEO, Yahoo! Inc.

Stuart J. Beck, president of Granite Broadcasting said Granite's alliance with Yahoo! will produce a fundamental change in the gathering and dissemination of television news.

"Television viewers will take charge of the news with access to detailed information on the news most important to them," said Beck.

Jeff Mallett, Yahoo's senior vice president of Business Operations said "By working with the local Granite management team, Yahoo! will continue its strategy of tailoring content to develop new media properties, and to serve the needs of local communities."

In addition to adding Yahoo! content to newscasts, both companies are working together on an exclusive basis to develop local Yahoo! versions in all markets.

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