DEARTH LEAVES NEW REPUBLIC TO HEAD MECKLERMEDIA'S MAGS; HEARST TO HOST HOMEARTS; ONLINE: TO GROW OR NOT TO GROW?; CBS POLL A POKE IN THE EYE;

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Jeffrey Dearth, president of The New Republic and founder of the online magazine subscription center Electronic Newsstand, has resigned to become president of the magazine group at Meck-lermedia Corp., Westport, Conn. Mr. Dearth's responsibilities, beginning Sept. 11, include overseeing Meckler's Web site, MecklerWeb's iWorld (http://www.mecklerweb.com). No successor has been named at The New Republic.

Call it the great home invasion. Hearst on Aug. 29 will unveil its HomeArts Web site, featuring content from several women's and home-oriented magazines. And last week, Home & Garden Television Network signed an agreement with Novo Media Group, San Francisco, to provide content for LivingHome, an ad-supported CD-ROM/online service to launch Nov. 15.

Online services will rack up $3.3 billion in revenues in 1997, up 22% from this year, according to a new report from Dataquest, San Jose, Calif. Subscribership will rise 60% to 25 million in that time frame, Dataquest said, a figure contrary to a recent report from Forrester Research, Cambridge, Mass., that said commercial online subscribership will drop off as the World Wide Web becomes more popular.

Some 200 visitors to CBS' Web site (http://www.cbs.com) got caught in a tangled web of misfired e-mail messages earlier this month because InfiNet, CBS' server company, misprogrammed an e-mail reply format. Users who voluntarily registered for informal polls on the service's "Eye on the Net" were surprised when their comments about a new CBS show called "Dweebs" were rerouted back to their mailboxes. "It's the irony of using technology to gauge interest in a show about technology," said Jim Byrne, CBS' director of marketing communications.

Other news:

Providence Journal Co. is joining Tribune Co. and Ameritech as a strategic investor in Peapod, a service allowing customers to order food and other products by fax, computer or phone.... Sausalito, Calif.-based McKinley Group launched McKinley Internet Directory last week with 80,000 listings, including reviews of 20,000 sites, at http://www.mckinley.com. .....Fox Broadcasting Co. unveiled its Web site, Fox World, at http://www.foxnetwork.com, featuring 3-D tours, virtual reality and various downloadable Fox programming elements.

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