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Tribune Co. Invests in SuperMarkets Online Inc.

St. Petersburg, FL-based Catalina Marketing Corp. said that Tribune Co. has made an unspecified investment in and alliance with its online subsidiary, coupon distributor SuperMarkets Online Inc. Tribune is the media company with holdings in TV and radio broadcasting, newspaper publishing, and interactive ventures.

"We look for Internet companies that push the traditional media envelope," said Andy Oleszczuk, president of Tribune Ventures. "With SuperMarkets Online, we see a company that represents the future of consumer packaged goods promotion and that will help our traditional media properties better serve the needs of some of our most important advertisers."

Tribune was an early investor in America Online, Excite and Digital City. Tribune said it used its mass media reach to help expand these businesses and plans to do much the same for SuperMarkets Online. Additionally, Tribune will use SuperMarkets Online coupons to help build traffic to--and advertiser interest in -- Tribune Web sites that are affiliated with its traditional media properties.

"This alliance is an affirmation of our strong position in the online promotional space," said David Rochon, president and CEO of SuperMarkets Online Inc. "The idea of pairing the targeted capabilities of our online promotions with the enormous reach of media like television, print and radio is exciting for us, as well as for our retail partners and our consumer packaged goods clients."

SuperMarkets Online provides secure online coupons through its ValuPage service at www.valupage.com. The ValuPage service makes use of a bar code that when presented at the checkout lane of more than 9,000 participating supermarkets along with the promoted items issues Web Bucks, cash rewards that consumers use to save on their next visit to the store. Each week, consumers can save more than $40 on product offers from more than 45 packaged goods manufacturers.

Catalina Marketing provides a network of marketing programs to more than 150 consumer goods companies reaching more than 156 million U.S. shoppers every week in more than 11,800 installed supermarkets.