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RealTime IT News

Real Cities Expands with Belo

KnightRidder.com, Internet arm of Knight Ridder, expanded its Real Cities Network of city and region Web sites Monday with the addition of 15 newspaper and television Web sites from Belo Interactive, the Internet subsidiary of Belo.

The company said the new sites make the Real Cities Network the largest aggregation of local online media companies, with coverage in 15 of the top 25 media markets in the nation. In total, the Real Cities Network will now have a home in 55 cities. Belo brings with it three newspapers -- The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal (RI), and The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.) -- and 12 television stations, including stations in Houston, St. Louis, Portland, Norfolk, New Orleans, Louisville, Austin, Tucson, Spokane and Boise.

"We are thrilled that Belo has decided to join the Real Cities Network and take a pre-eminent role in helping make the network successful," said Dan Finnigan, president of KnightRidder.com. "Belo brings an impressive line-up of top-tier markets and award-winning media properties and Web sites. This partnership fits perfectly with Real Cities' collective mission to pull together in each market the company and the site with the deepest news, entertainment and local online services -- to share each other's traffic, advertising opportunities, content and products.

KnightRidder.com said it will also be looking to collaborate with Belo on several other fronts to create an infrastructure that will support growth in delivering interactive multimedia content on the Web.

"Helping to create the leading local network on the Web is a deliberate strategic move for us," said Eric Christensen, Belo Interactive's acting general manager. "Our company has long recognized the value of a national network and we're excited about taking the Real Cities Network to the next level. Given our expertise in video programming and our strategic markets, we believe that Real Cities will help grow our usage and allow us to generate more revenue from our sites."