KATHERINE CREECH: HOMEARTS

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Building things is what Katherine Creech likes to do most -- whether it's tearing apart and renovating old houses with her husband or whipping up a new media publishing brand from scratch.

Ms. Creech came to HomeArts from a corporate brand marketing job at Dun & Bradstreet. She was hired to manage what was then called HomeNet and included a lot of CD-ROMs and content on America Online and Prodigy.

"I came in and said, `Let's not do America Online or reproduce the Hearst products because brands are really important.' So we renamed it HomeArts," she said. "We knew that just putting magazines up online wouldn't do it, so even from the launch we had things like our recipe finder, which is still one of our most popular tools."

HomeArts produced only a handful of CD-ROMs before it found a place on the Web in August '95. And while women users on the Web got a lot of attention last year, HomeArts has always targeted them.

"From the beginning, we said HomeArts is about delivering new media to women. Hearst owns that category in the print world; we need to leverage that strength in the new media world," Ms. Creech said.

While she enjoys the building part, Ms. Creech said she's also ready for new media, especially the Internet, to become a recognized and profitable force.

"I'm working on making this business into a powerful asset that really is equal to Hearst's other properties," she said.

Betcha didn't know: Ms. Creech and her husband adopted a baby daughter from China.

Shortly after, Linda McCutcheon, president of Time Inc. New Media, also adopted a daughter from China. When they heard of each other's similar situations, Ms. Creech and Ms. McCutcheon began exchanging stories and information and have continued to keep in touch ever since.

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