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CNET SOUPS UP SEARCH.COM

CNET: The Computer Network relaunches Search.com (www.search.com) today with new advertisers, design and technology. Highlights of the relaunch include searches powered by Info-seek Corp., banner ad targeting with Accipiter AdManager and deals with 21 Internet service providers, including MCI Communications Corp., U S West and Hong Kong Telecom, which will reset Netscape's Search button to co-branded search sites. New advertisers include Rent.net, Columbia House, Amazon.com, Sony Station and Microsoft Corp.'s Expedia.

PointCast develops college network

PointCast this fall plans to launch the PointCast College Network, targeting college students with content channels from E! Online, SonicNet, Billboard and the Main Quad, a college-themed Web site, an executive familiar with the company said. The network is a major expansion beyond PointCast's existing business-user market. It will carry a rate base of 125,000 for the fall semester.

ABC bows on the Web with a bang

ABC News' Web site (www.abcnews.com) launched with nine charter advertisers last week. AT&T Corp., Charles Schwab & Co., U S West, MasterCard International and Volvo Cars of North America, among others, bought packages covering a minimum of two months. Rate card ranges from $10,000 per month with 225,000 guaranteed impressions to $40,000 per month with 1 million guaranteed impressions. The site has tie-ins with America Online and Netscape Communications Corp. to bolster its Web presence.

Ticketmaster-Microsoft battle escalates

Ticketmaster Corp. fired another volley in its war against Microsoft Corp. last week, blocking users of Microsoft's Sidewalk local online guide from accessing its site. Ticketmaster charged in a lawsuit filed last month that Microsoft was deriving ad revenue from its links to the Ticketmaster site. Microsoft claims links to other sites are the nature of the Web and said at press time that it hadn't decided how to respond to Ticketmaster's latest move.

HotWired rewires its branding strategy

Wired Ventures, in an attempt to better brand its various divisions, changed the operating name of HotWired to Wired Digital. The site will continue to be known as HotWired, but the division will take the new name. HardWired, the books division, becomes Wired Books in the revamp. HotWired appears to be in the midst of a revamp itself; it recently sold the Ask Dr.Weil Web site to Time Warner's Pathfinder and last week launched a Web news search engine, NewBot.

Infoseek CEO Johnson resigns

Infoseek Corp. CEO Robin Johnson resigned unexpectedly last week. Former CNN Interactive executive Harry Motro, who was named president of Infoseek earlier this month, will replace Mr. Johnson. Executives at the company said Mr. Johnson's resignation was a surprise, although a spokesman said he had begun "relinquishing his responsibilities" over the past month. Leonard LeBlanc, formerly chief financial officer, was named chief operating officer.

Other news:

CMP Media bought rights to www.cmpnet.com from CompuNet, a Shawnee, Okla., Web site designer, giving the media company a domain for its CMPnet megasite set to launch June 30. . . . Bank holding company KeyCorp awarded its Web site redesign assignment to Poppe Tyson Interactive, Cleveland. . . . Barnes & Noble filed suit against rival Web bookseller Amazon.com for what it calls "fraudulent claims" by Amazon that it's the world's largest online bookstore. . . . Mecklermedia Corp. is folding print magazine Web Developer and will launch an online publication called webdeveloper.com . . . Lycos formed a joint venture with European media company Bertelsmann to create online navigation sites for 37 countries in Europe.

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