HOLLYWOOD NEWS WILL TRAVEL ONLINE VIA THE VINE; BATES TAPS GUGEL FOR INTERACTIVE UNIT; SEX IS BANNED AT COMDEX; MEREDITH INVESTS IN MULTIMEDIA; OTHER NEWS:

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The VINE, an ad-supported online service targeting the Hollywood entertainment community, officially starts today. The Los Angeles-based service, from Port Authority Communications, includes electronic mail, news, bulletin boards and access to the Internet. Advertisers include Avid Technologies, the Hollywood Creative Directory and American Film Institute.

Bates USA, New York, last week formed an interactive group and named Craig Gugel to the new post of senior VP-interactive media and research, from executive director of media research and technology. Bates said it has joined IT Network's Interactive Channel test in Denton, Texas, and will participate in another interactive trial with Tele-Communications Inc. this fall in Denver.

Interface Group, promoter of Comdex and New Media Expo, is banning the display of nudity and sexually explicit materials at its shows. Interface is sacrificing a lucrative market; porn long has been an early adopter of new technology. CD-ROM porn displays have drawn crowds at Comdex, and "adult" materials made up about 10% of the exhibits at April's New Media Expo.

Meredith Corp. bought a minority equity stake in Multicom Publishing, a Seattle-based consumer multimedia software producer. Multicom is working on ad-supported CD-ROMs and interactive kiosks tied to Meredith's magazines, including Better Homes & Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal.

MTV: Music Television and The New York Times will go online with America Online this summer. ... Steven Spielberg has acquired a stake in Knowledge Adventure, developer of educational computer software. ... Morris Goldstein returned to Ziff-Davis Publishing Co. as senior VP after a five-month stint as president-CEO of ImagiNation Network. ... Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., Atlanta, signed with LodgeNet Entertainment Corp., Sioux Falls, S.D., to provide an interactive entertainment TV system to 19 hotels. ... Silicon Graphics will provide interactive hardware and software for Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp.'s planned digital TV network in Japan. ... The Summer Consumer Electronics Show, moving next year from Chicago to Philadelphia, is considering a name change to CES Interactive to reflect a new focus on new media.

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