Lou Dobbs warns media companies of online threat

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CNNfn President Lou Dobbs opened the Jupiter Online Media Conference in New York March 5 by warning media companies about the competitive threat posed by search engine companies such as Yahoo! and Lycos.

While the profits of the top-four search engine companies total less than 1% of those of the top-four media companies, Mr. Dobbs said their total market capitalization represents 3% that of the top media companies (Walt Disney Co., News Corp., Time Warner and Viacom). "Not even large, traditional ... media companies can ignore the clear, unequivocal, implication of those facts," Mr. Dobbs said.

He said that while factors such as the Drudge Report, which broke the Clinton scandal online, and chat rooms are influencing major media companies, "Ultimately, their future success will be determined in large measure by the rather traditional values of accuracy, fairness ... and adherence to the highest standards of journalism."

Copyright March 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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