RealTime IT News

Talk City Becomes LiveWorld

Campbell, Calif.-based online relationship marketing company Talk City Marketing Group signed financial information firm Bloomberg L.P. as a new client and said it will change its name to LiveWorld Inc.

The name change "reflects the company's 100 percent focus on its core fee-for-services business," LiveWorld said.

LiveWorld said that it will provide a range of interactive community services for Bloomberg's consumer Web site. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

LiveWorld will build and manage a series of interactive discussion forums that will enable Bloomberg.com visitors to discuss features from Bloomberg's print publications and share ideas and perspectives on a range of timely financial topics.

"We feel that LiveWorld's experience and expertise will help us build a successful interactive community for our online visitors," said David Wachtel, manager of Bloomberg media and marketing.

LiveWorld, whose other customers include the Internal Revenue Service, Cisco Systems, Eastman Kodak, Coca-Cola and Costco, said it expects to announce a new ticker symbol consistent with the company's new name in the next 30 to 60 days. It was delisted by Nasdaq on May 1 and the company has been moving to refocus the business.

Last year total revenues increased 92 percent to $14.8 million. Net loss rose 3 percent to $41.6 million.

The new brand identity is "consistent with the company's momentum in building a strong fee-based marketing services business, said Peter Friedman, LiveWorld's chairman and CEO.

LiveWorld was trading unchanged at 16 cents at mid-morning. The company said it exited the fourth quarter of 2000 with $14 million in cash and expects to reach break even in 2002.

Talk City Marketing Group, founded in 1996, began as AppleLink and eWorld -- Apple Computer's business services marketing initiatives. It originally provided free chat rooms; now it offers marketing consulting services, online research, event production, community services and networking and syndication services.