Newspaper Heavyweights Invest in Topix

Newspaper publishing powerhouses Gannett, Knight Ridder, and Tribune Company today announced they have jointly acquired a 75 percent interest in
Topix.net, an online news aggregator that launched a little more than a year ago.

Although financial terms were not disclosed, the three publishing giants
each took a 25 percent stake in the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, while
its founders retained 25 percent control, Rich Skrenta, Topix.net CEO and co-founder, said.

Topix.net monitors and aggregates breaking news from more than 10,000 online
sources and categorizes the news into more than 300,000 topics, Skrenta said. The Web site also features links to news and information, culled from
newspapers, magazines, radio, television stations and weblogs. The
information is tailored to individual users organized by ZIP code, industry
and hundreds of thousands of topics. The information is then distributed
through its Web site, RSS feeds and e-mail news alerts.

“People want the news that’s relevant to them — where they live, the
business that they are in, the topics they care about,” Jack Williams,
senior vice president of diversified business and development at Gannett, said
in a statement. “Topix.net’s technology will leverage the media assets and
broad reach of our three companies in entirely new ways.”

Topix.net will continue to operate as an editorially independent,
stand-alone company managed by Topix.nets executive team, and operated by
its eight employees, said Skrenta.

“We are going to continue to operate like a start-up,” he said,
adding that Topix.net will use content and funding from the three publishers
to expand and refine its technology, services and operational
infrastructure.

Gannett, Knight Ridder and Tribune collectively operate more than 140
newspaper Web sites with nearly 30 million unique visitors monthly. Recently
they have partnered in other joint ventures such as ShopLocal.com
and CareerBuilder.com.

“This transaction provides us with the resources to be the best place to
connect to a very wide range of news on the Web,” Skrenta said. “Gannett, Knight Ridder and Tribune generate valuable online content and
Topix.net is dedicated to making that content easily found. We all
serve the news enthusiast, so it’s a natural partnership.”

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