RealTime IT News

Media Giants Invest in Talk City

Online community site Talk City, Inc. today announced that media firms NBC, The Hearst Corp., and Cox Interactive Media (CIM) will provide it with equity investments.

Under terms of the agreements, Talk City will co-produce, co-sell, co-market and co-brand online community services for the partners' select Web offerings. These services include personal homepages, live online events, discussion boards and chat rooms.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Talk City said it will offer community services on Hearst's HomeArts Network of original content and Web sites for Hearst's magazines online. It will also co-manage online live celebrity events on NBC.com's "NBC Talk City" area, and will provide chat rooms and message boards to NBC.com and NBC Interactive Neighborhood.

The co-branded areas will be accessible directly via www.talkcity.com or through the partners' respective sites, the company said. A number of these co-branded sites were launched today, and others are expected to launch in the coming weeks.

Combined with additional investors Intel Corp., CSK Japan, and Media Technology Ventures, Quantum Group (Soros Fund Management), Patricof & Co. and New York Life Insurance, investment in the company is reportedly $34 million. NBC, Hearst, CIM, and Media Technology will join Talk City's board of directors, the firm said.

"Talk City provides a 'clean and well lit' community for Hearst to grow our extensive stable of trusted brands," said Kenneth A. Bronfin, Hearst New Media & Technology Senior Vice President and Deputy Group Head. "Our partnership with Talk City provides HomeArts Network users with a superior online experience where they can talk with like minds and find useful information that impacts their families and lives."