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Knight-Ridder New Media, San Jose, Calif., presented new software aimed at improving classified ads on the Real Cities network. The software improves searching by automatically identifying attributes such as the number of bedrooms in a house and the price of a house from text classified ads. The software also automates the ad-buying process. Marketers can now buy print and online ads over the Web, and add photographs, video or audio to their ads. Knight-Ridder New Media developed the software with Object Design and IsoQuest.

Microsoft HomeAdvisor has cut distribution agreements with Infoseek, Pathfinder, Switchboard, WhoWhere?, Tripod, Big Yellow, GTE InterNet and DoubleClick to put the online home buying and loan guide on each of those sites. At the same time, HomeAdvisor also inked an advertising deal with Yahoo! to be featured in the Yahoo! finance and real estate categories. The agreements mark the beginning of HomeAdvisor's move out of the preview stage. said it has formed alliances with the following partners: USA Today Online, for co-branded content and cross-links; CBS SportsLine, in which it will be the exclusive content provider for that site's Health and Fitness area; and Lycos, for which it will provide news and feature headlines for the Lycos Personal Internet Guide.

Flycast Communications introduced a new product suite that includes four new advertising options: Run of Network, Run of Category, Category Select and Site Select. Using the campaign options, advertisers can more narrowly target their messages.

Playboy Online, Chicago, named David Lalich senior VP-marketing, effective Aug. 17. Mr. Lalich was formerly president-CEO of Classified Warehouse, which used to be known as AdOne Classified Network.

Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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