Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) and Tribune Interactive, a division of Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB), today announced a joint venture to expand a national network of local entertainment Web sites under the Metromix brand.
The newly formed company, Metromix LLC, will focus on launching Metromix.com in the nation’s top 30 markets plus other key metro areas in the coming months. It will be co-owned equally by the two parent companies. Terms of the venture were not disclosed.
Metromix currently is available in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other large Tribune markets. Each Metromix site is a one-stop guide to area restaurants, bars and clubs, events, concerts, movies and more. The award-winning product targets young, socially active adults looking for an insider’s perspective on local trends and hotspots. Users are typically 21-to-34 years-old with significant disposable income.
“Gannett and Tribune are a powerful combination of deep local market experience, superior content and national scale,” said Tim Landon, Tribune Interactive president. “With this partnership we can grow Metromix into a true national brand, adding value for advertisers who want to reach a highly desirable demographic.”
“We are pleased to join with Tribune in expanding Metromix,” said Jack Williams, president of Gannett Digital. “Together we can take the established and successful Metromix brand and deliver it – with local authenticity – to all the nation’s top markets. The concept is simple: make it fun, make it relevant, make it the place to go. That’s what Metromix is all about.”
Metromix, originally launched by the Chicago Tribune, recently celebrated its tenth anniversary as the “go to” source for entertainment information in the city. The site’s searchable database features more than 45,000 reader reviews, 5,000 current events and 20,000 destinations, including 10,000 restaurants and 3,000 bars and clubs. It has earned numerous awards including the EPpy Award for Best Entertainment Site and the Digital Edge Award for Best Advertising Program.
“Metromix is a truly authentic, credible and up-to-the-minute entertainment resource – as millions of Chicagoans can attest,” said Kara Walsh, Metromix LLC chief executive officer. “Our users depend on technology to manage their lives, and use Metromix to stay ‘in the know’ about the social scene. As we expand our rollout across the country, we will bring the same ‘must-see’ qualities to users in other top markets.”
Metromix also is online in New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Orlando, South Florida and other markets. The current network receives more than 14.5 million page views from over 1.6 million unique users per month (Omniture, Sept. 2007). Under the joint venture, Metromix expects to be in 25 of the top 30 markets and more than 40 markets overall by the end of 2008. In cities where Gannett and Tribune do not currently have operations, Metromix LLC may partner with other media companies to serve as local Metromix affiliates.
Metromix LLC will be headquartered in Chicago. Its national content group will remain based in Los Angeles, close to movie and television industry contacts.
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GANNETT CO., INC. (NYSE: GCI) is a leading international news and information company that publishes 85 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns nearly 1,000 non-daily publications in the USA and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom’s second largest regional newspaper company. Newsquest publishes nearly 300 titles, including 18 daily newspapers, and a network of prize-winning Web sites. Gannett also operates 23 television stations in the United States and is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by its TV stations and newspapers including USATODAY.com, one of the most popular news sites on the Web.
TRIBUNE (NYSE:TRB) is one of the country’s top media companies, operating businesses in publishing, interactive and broadcasting. It reaches more than 80 percent of U.S. households and is the only media organization with newspapers, television stations and websites in the nation’s top three markets. In publishing, Tribune’s leading daily newspapers include the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.), The Sun (Baltimore), South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel and Hartford Courant. The company’s broadcasting group operates 23 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago’s WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune’s print and broadcast properties and extend the company’s nationwide audience.