CONDE CUTS STANDALONE WEB SITE FOR 'TRAVELER';MAGAZINE WILL MOVE TO THE MORE POPULAR EPICURIOUS

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Conde nast Publications is shifting its Web strategy, moving Conde Nast Traveler out of its own separate site and under the Epicurious umbrella.

Starting May 15, Epicurious (http://www.epicurious.com) will break into Epicurious Food and Epicurious Travel. Epicurious Food features 80% original content and material from Bon Appetit and Gourmet. The travel area, built on the same model, will offer Conde Nast Traveler content as well as travel material from Bride's and other Conde Nast magazines.

WHY TRAVELER MOVED

Conde Net, the interactive unit of Conde Nast, said moving Traveler under Epicurious wasn't because the Traveler site (http:-) failed.

"We aren't saying Traveler's broken," said Conde Net Director Sarah Chubb. "It's fortuitous in a way that we launched Epicurious and Conde Nast Traveler the way we did because it enabled us to run two tests."

She did acknowledge that Epicurious gets four times Traveler's traffic (600,000 weekly page views delivered vs. Traveler's 140,000). Traveler opened in June 1995.

CHANNELING TRAFFIC

"If anything, the move will help Conde Net to channel higher traffic to all the Conde Nast brands," said Lisa Wachtell, media planner at Team One Advertising, El Segundo, Calif., agency for Toyota Motor Sales USA's Lexus division. "The point of the Internet is to make users go through a seamless process."

Media executives are split on whether old media brands are sexy enough for the Internet.

Hearst Magazines operates HomeArts (http://www.homearts.com). Others, like Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, maintain stand-alone sites named after the company's magazine brands.

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