signing off

Byron C. Mayes bcmayes at
Thu Dec 4 13:12:07 EST 1997

Sorry to see you go Judy. It's been very helpful having you here, too.

Everyone else, Don't get *too* upset with Wired over this. See below--bc:

Subject: FWD: Wired looking to sell Net `zines'

This message was forwarded to you from ZDNet ( by bcmayes at


   This article is from ZDNN (


   Wired looking to sell Net `zines'
   By John Gilles, ZDTV
   December 3, 1997 6:33 PM PST

   Wired looking to sell Net `zines' Wired Ventures is preparing to sell
   all or part of Wired Digital, its online division whose products
   include HotWired and Wired News, according to sources.

   In addition, the company has all but abandoned the LiveWire push
   product it was co-developing with Microsoft Corp., the sources said.

   After a Wired Ventures board meeting that extended into early
   Wednesday morning, rumors began to circulate about the imminent sale
   of Wired Digital, which has never turned a profit despite relatively
   good traffic and widespread Internet influence.

   "It's no rumor that Wired's electronic properties have been
   floundering," said Patrick Keane, Jupiter Communications consumer
   content analyst. "Why don't they just stay in the business of
   producing a profitable magazine?"

   While not wishing to comment on speculation regarding any imminent
   sale, Keane said Wired has run into a dire money crunch after two
   attempts to sell stock in the company failed to impress Wall Street
   and were eventually abandoned.

   "Without question, failing to launch an IPO definitely hurt them and
   it also didn't help they were losing money at a steady clip," Keane
   said. "I know they've been aggressively pursuing independent
   financing, but they haven't been able to get it."

   "A good question is who would want to buy them," Keane said.

   A former senior editor at Wired Magazine, who asked not to be named
   for this article, said potential buyers might include S.I. Newhouse's
   Advance Publications, which is already a substantial investor in Wired
   Ventures; and Ziff-Davis, which owns and operates ZDNN.

   The source said any possible sale or additional layoffs are now
   virtually a given since Wired is operating in perilous financial
   territory, and founders Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe face losing
   some of their interest in the company.

   "They need to hit certain financial targets by the end of the year,"
   the former editor said. "It's critical that they hit those to satisfy
   the investor demands, or they face losing a percentage of the company"
   as a penalty set as a condition of the original investment.

   The source didn't rule out a sale of the entire company, including the
   magazine and other non-Internet business units such as its book
   publishing division, HardWired.

   Coming on the heels of the dismissal of 30 staff members at Wired
   Digital, any new layoffs would constitute a gutting of Wired Digital,
   which is a Web site and news service operated jointly with Reuters
   Holdings, PLC, another possible buyer.


   Copyright (c) 1997 ZDNet. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole
   or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of
   ZDNet is prohibited. ZDNet and the ZDNet logo are trademarks of
   Ziff-Davis Inc.

 Prof. Byron C. Mayes
 Systems Librarian/Assistant Professor
 Hunter College of the City University of New York
 695 Park Avenue * New York, New York 10021
 bcmayes at  * 212-772-4168 * Fax: 212-772-5113

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