Execs & Accounts for November 3, 2003

In a move designed to appeal to advertisers eager to reach business and liesure travelers, USATODAY.com has revamped its travel site.

Some features of the Web destination have been strengthened; others are completely new. Among the new features are a global hotel directory, a searchable index of travel and vacation deals; expanded city guides covering 30 U.S. destinations and 10 foreign cities; and an updated search engine that turns up results of USAToday.com partners in addition to the Web site’s own content.

Jeff Webber, SVP and publisher of USATODAY.com, said the site’s facelift will “provide advertisers with an exceptional environment to reach the affluent, educated, mobile professional who is a frequent traveler.”

New opportunities for advertisers include new ad positions and text links within the new “Travel Deals” area.

eUniverse Chairman and CEO Brad Greenspan has stepped down, and the company has added two members to its board of directors.

Greenspan will remain a member of the company’s board, and President Brett Brewer will serve as CEO while replacement candidates are evaluated. Brewer declined to provide a reason for Greenspan’s departure.

“Brad Greenspan led our team through some very exciting times, and we are thrilled at all we’ve been able to accomplish during his tenure,” he said.

Jeffrey Edell and Bradley Ward have joined the company’s board of directors. Edell’s background includes a four-year stint as president and CEO of Soundelux Entertainment Group, an entertainment content and technologies firm. Ward is president and CEO of The Game Tree, an online publisher of games and game-related content.

Forbes.com has launched a new lifestyle section sponsored exclusively by Volvo Cars of North America.

Called “The Best of Life,” the section lets users access lists from its several lifestyle categories, including vehicles, real estate, sports and travel. Examples include “Best Sports Car Buys,” “Best Beach Resorts” or “Best Private Islands.”

Under the sponsorship, Volvo provides special features that integrate its vehicles into the content. Features that incorporate the Volvo brand have titles like “road trip” and “me and my Volvo.” The section also includes related polls and discussions.

The South African Online Publisher’s Association (OPA) has tapped RedSheriff to provide its Web analytics infrastructure, leading the metrics provider to open an office in Johannesburg.

“RedSheriff was the most comprehensive of all the bidders in relation to the OPA’s requirements,” said OPA Measurement Committee Head J.P. Farinha.

Implementation of the new measurement system should be complete by December 2003, RedSheriff said.

“RedSheriff sees the South African market as a vibrant, rapidly expanding Internet media and commerce market and a wonderful launch pad for further expansion into the African continent,” according to CEO Richard Webb.

For more breaking news on account action and executive moves, visit ChannelSeven.com

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