New York tabloids ready for faceoff in cyberspace

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The New York Daily News and its arch rival the New York Post are taking their tabloid war to a new level--cyberspace.

Both are beta-testing their own Web sites, but it looks like the News will jump out of the gate first with its official launch Oct. 1 at http://www.nydailynews.com.

While the Post already has a Web version featuring daily news from the paper, it is still shaking out the bugs and isn't yet accessible via all software.

On the advertising front, the News has already signed three advertisers: Chase Manhattan, the Lincoln-Mercury Division of Ford Motor Co. and J & R Music World.

`WE LIKE THE CONTENT'

Anne Benvenuto, senior VP-media, director of media services at Chase Manhattan agency TVS Media, New York, said she has made a six-month commitment to the News. "We like the content," said Ms. Benvenuto. "They will work with us to build areas that we want to sponsor beyond just putting banners up on the Web."

In addition, the News site will feature a personals section under a revenue sharing deal with Match.com, a site that already touts 140,000 subscribers. Each subscriber pays fees ranging from $7.95 monthly to $69.95 annually to join.

"This really starts a new era for the Daily News," said Eric Gertler, president of the new media group for the News, which has an eight-person staff. Sandra Heddon, formerly a copy editor on the features desk at the News, will be managing editor of the new media group.

ATTRACT UPSCALE READERS

Mr. Gertler said he hopes the medium can be used as a way to attract upscale readers and advertisers who in the past might have automatically opted for The New York Times.

About half of the content on the News site will be original and will cover topics like entertainment, health, technology, finance, gossip and sports.

Ad prices are expected to be about $6,000 per month with a guarantee of about 200,000 visits per month. "We're expecting the CPM to be about $30," he said.

Although there is a Web address on the front page of the Post, it's difficult for most users to view the site without a Netscape Navigator browser. An official Post spokesman at Howard Rubenstein & Associates said, "We're in the very preliminary stages of developing our Internet site." He declined further comment.

Copyright September 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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