AT&T's goal was to spin off the site to investors, but the company decided to halt its development instead to concentrate on "services more directly aligned with our core business," a spokesman said. AT&T will now focus on developing the Hometown Network, a series of community-themed Web sites now in test, the spokesman said.
"What we learned in the scheme of things is that local [content] is much more integral to the core of AT&T," said Caroline Vanderlip, president of AT&T Personal Online Services. "We had a number of very interested investors, but we determined with the investors that it was not an area we wanted to put a lot of time and attention to..
The AT&T site bears a message referring users to sites for the individual content providers. AT&T will help content providers transition away from the HealthSite and has offered to host their services.
Rodale has already moved its content off AT&T servers, said Susan Russo, general manager of Rodale Health Online. Prevention is now at http://www.prev.com, while Men's Health is currently at http://www.menshealth.neographic.com but will eventually reside at its own domain.
"I still think the vertical [content] approach is a compelling approach," Ms. Russo said. "Clearly, Hometown is more comfortable [for AT&T] given their other businesses..
Copyright August 1996 Crain Communications Inc.