COMPUSERVE, FUJITSU ADD ANIMATION TO REAL-TIME CHATS; WHAT'S NEW? YAHOO GOES COMMERCIAL; SPRINT EXEC FORMS INTERACTIVE COMPANY; NEW ON THE 'NET;

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CompuServe and Fujitsu today will announce WorldsAway, a global, animated chat service. Instead of relying on text-based chat, WorldsAway will let users create animated characters-called avatars-that can wander through online rooms, talk to others in real time and pick up and exchange objects. The premium service will have an hourly charge of $4.80. WorldsAway is in early tests and will be available later this year.

Yahoo, a popular Internet What's New page assembled by two Stanford University Ph.D. students, is going commercial under a deal with Netscape Communications Corp., a Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet service provider. Yahoo, a site accessed daily by about 200,000 people, will display Netscape's logo on its home page (http://www.yahoo.com) and may also begin to sell sponsorships. Founder David Filo said he has been approached by online providers interested in acquiring Yahoo but hasn't decided whether to pursue a sale.

Former Sprint Telemedia Director Adrian Toader opened Interactive Media Works, an Overland Park, Kan.-based company focused on integrating online services, the Internet, phone and fax for marketing opportunities. The 12-person company's clients include the Chevrolet Dealers Association and Global Telecommunications Solutions. Separately, Thomas Weigman was named president of Sprint's Consumer Services Group, from president of the multimedia and strategic services group. Robba L. Benjamin, formerly new-media development consultant at U S West, replaces Mr. Weigman.

Van den Bergh Foods' Ragu brand opened Mama's Cucina (http://www.eat.com), offering recipes, Italian lessons and a sweepstakes. Outside unveiled Outside Online, created by Paul Allen's Starwave Corp. (http://www.starwave.com/outside). BMG Classics and OnRamp opened Classics World, the first dedicated classical music resource (http://www.classicalmus.com).

Other news:

American Demographics and Dow Jones Multimedia introduced the Marketing Tool CD-ROM, a $149 disc. ... Alamo Rent A Car will open a World Wide Web site soon, allowing users to make reservations online. ... Cathy Griffin was named VP-interactive TV sales at Zing Systems, Englewood, Colo., from VP at World Cup USA.

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