Discovery creates dot-com unit

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Discovery Communications, Bethesda, Md., said it's forming a new company, Discovery.com, that will consolidate all its Internet activity. Discovery is expected to invest $500 million by 2003 in the new venture, which emanates from Discovery Channel Online and Discoveryhealth.com. John S. Hendricks, founder, chairman and CEO of Discovery Communications, also will serve as chairman-CEO of Discovery.com. The new company is expected to get a major promotional push from its "old media" parent. In January, Discovery was said to be close to hiring Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, for an estimated $70 million account covering its online businesses. Discovery follows NBC and Walt Disney Co. in spinning off its Internet businesses in a bid to capitalize on the bull market for online stocks.

Copyright February 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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