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Prio Inc. Partners With Knight Ridder Real Cities

Mountain View, CA-based reward and affinity marketer Prio Inc., (formerly SaveSmart) and Knight Ridder New Media formed a partnership that will extend the Prio commerce system to the Knight Ridder Real Cities Web sites.

The partnership will bring promotions to consumers through the Real Cities network while offering merchants an affinity program that turns site visits into real-world and e-commerce customers, the companies said. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

Consumers who visit the Real Cities network will be presented with an opportunity to take advantage of Prio promotions that are being offered by advertisers. Consumers who are registered with Prio then redeem the online promotion at either an e-commerce destination or in a traditional storefront.

The reward, initially cash back, is reflected in savings on the consumer's American Express, MasterCard or Visa credit card statement. The Prio system, delivered over the Real Cities network, allows merchants to cost reach millions of consumers with targeted promotions.

"Our relationship with Knight Ridder New Media is an important example of how we can drive traditional commerce as well as e-commerce through the Prio e-nabled commerce system," said Ashok Narasimhan, chairman and CEO of Prio Inc. "Knight Ridder New Media is reaching millions of consumers and thousands of merchants through its powerful Real Cities network. Our partnership provides a leverage point for those merchants to reach targeted consumers with valuable promotions and rewards. This convergence of e-commerce and traditional retailing is an inevitable step in the evolution of business. . ."

The Knight Ridder Real Cities network will launch the Prio reward system on a limited basis in the coming months. The partners are planning for a future network-wide launch of the program.