Topix.net announced today that Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Knight-Ridder, Inc. (NYSE: KRI) and Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) jointly have acquired a 75 percent stake in Topix.net. Ownership is split evenly, with each media company owning 25 percent and the Topix.net founders retaining a 25 percent stake. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Topix.net continuously monitors breaking news from over 10,000 online sources and categorizes daily news content into over 300,000 topics, 24 hours a day. Topix.net will operate as an editorially independent, stand-alone company managed by Topix.net’s executive team. Topix.net will use content and funding from Gannett, Knight Ridder and Tribune to expand and refine its NewsRank™ technology, services and operational infrastructure.
“This transaction provides us with the resources to be the best place to connect to a very wide range of news on the Web,” said Rich Skrenta, CEO and co-founder of Topix.net. “We all serve the news enthusiast, so it’s a natural partnership. Gannett, Knight Ridder and Tribune generate valuable online content and Topix.net is dedicated to making that content easily found. By believing in the potential of our ideas and technology, they have made an investment in the future, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
Topix.net features links to news and information from more than 10,000 news sources including newspapers, magazines, radio, television stations and Web logs. Topix.net distributes news through its Web site, RSS feeds and email news alerts. It syndicates its content through partnerships and tens of thousands of Web sites that host news feeds from Topix.net.
Topix.net uses its NewsRank™ technology to deliver highly relevant news, using concept, instead of simple keyword searches. It delivers published news stories organized by ZIP code, industry and hundreds of thousands of topics.
“People want the news that’s relevant to them — where they live, the business that they are in, the topics they care about. Topix.net’s technology will leverage the media assets and broad reach of our three companies in entirely new ways,” said Jack Williams, senior vice president diversified business and development at Gannett. “We are extremely pleased to partner with Topix.net to grow and develop its service and help audiences find the news they want online.”
Collectively, Gannett, Knight Ridder and Tribune operate more than 140 newspaper Web sites with nearly 30 million unique visitors monthly. The companies have partnered together in other joint ventures such as ShopLocal.com and CareerBuilder.com.