Anchorage Daily News expands web presence

Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The state's largest newspaper wants to expand its Internet presence.

The Anchorage Daily News has bought the Internet domain Alaska.com for an undisclosed price from General Communication Inc., which will partner with the paper to offer a wide-ranging Web site dedicated to Alaska.

The newspaper announced the deal Tuesday. A spokeswoman said Alaska.com thrusts the Daily News into a much a broader arena.

''The vision is to have a site that fulfills every need of every person in the state, as well as provide information for people wanting to visit or move here,'' said Sabrina Willis, new media manager.

Willis wants people to click on Alaska.com to find information about everything from glaciers to the cost of living via a regional portal.

''Regional portals not only take the editorial content from the newspaper, but offer entertainment guides, some listings and usually some e-commerce services,'' said Paul Grabowicz, director of the new media program at the journalism graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley.

GCI, an Anchorage-based telecom company and the state's largest Internet provider, owned Alaska.com for about four years, using the site as mainly a business directory, said Maureen Moore, Internet marketing director at GCI.

''We recognized that the directory alone did not bring people to the site,'' she said. ''But the ADN offers content for the site, and that will draw more people to it.''

Currently, Alaska.com receives about 600,000 page views per month, while adn.com gets about 4.7 million over the same period, Willis said.

Alaska.com is being redesigned and is set to launch under the new format Aug. 15. Both the Daily News and GCI will sell advertising to support the endeavor, the paper said.

The nearly 700 businesses are already listed on Alaska.com will remain, and customers with e-mail addresses containing Alaska.com will be unaffected, Moore said.

Other partners in the deal include Alaska Airlines, Juneau radio station KINY-FM and Tanana Valley TV, owner of the CBS and Fox television affiliates in Fairbanks. The Daily News also is talking to other companies, said Mike Sexton, the paper's publisher.

Alaska.com will carry some Alaska news and have a link to adn.com, which the Daily News will continue to operate as a full-service news site. Some articles produced by the paper's media partners will appear on Alaska.com, Willis said.

The Daily News is owned by McClatchy Co., a Sacramento-based newspaper and online media company. Neither Sexton nor GCI officials would comment on how much the newspaper paid for Alaska.com.



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