BABY BELLS, CAA TO ANNOUNCE INTERACTIVE TV COMPANIES

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The consortium created last year by Bell Atlantic Corp., Nynex Corp., Pacific Telesis Corp. and Creative Artists Agency is close to announcing formation of two companies, one to oversee programming and the second to focus on technology issues. Agency executives expect a joint marketing operation to be based in New York, with satellite offices in major cities. Interactive TV applications would likely appear first on Bell Atlantic's Stargazer system, now testing in northern Virginia. As a result, Bell Atlantic is expected to take the lead in creating a joint sales and marketing force. Bell Atlantic Video Services Co. is already approaching potential advertisers, asking them to sign letters of intent and put up refundable seed money to fund research and development.

Chiat/Day sets Web site

Chiat/Day, Venice, Calif., this week plans to open its World Wide Web site, http://www.chiatday.com. The site will provide opportunities to conduct online research for clients as well as showcase the agency's creative product. Chiat also plans to feature some of its clients in the area.

`People' opens on CompuServe

People was slated to go live on CompuServe late last week, offering daily news items as well as the complete text of each weekly issue. The area also offers first-person, behind-the-scenes accounts from People reporters, a Star Tracks section charting celebrity activity and seven years of back issues.

Nynex, Prodigy offer Yellow Pages

Nynex is offering the first interactive online Yellow Pages on Prodigy, representing 1,500 businesses in New York state and New England. The service is available free to Prodigy users in southern New York; other subscribers pay a long-distance fee to access the listings.

Other news:

Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. will work together to develop hardware and software for video on demand and interactive TV.... The WELL today opens WebExpress, a self-publishing service on the Internet's World Wide Web for individuals and businesses.... Pharos Technologies, a Cincinnati business software marketer, named Hensley Segal Rentschler, Cincinnati, agency of record, succeeding Hsiung & Associates. Pharos will develop interactive applications for Hensley clients, while Hensley will create ads for Pharos.

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