signing off

j. y. c h e n judy at
Thu Dec 4 19:05:12 EST 1997

thanks for your kind mail, byron.  what a surprise it was to see this
article from ZD Net this morning!  I immediately went over to the assistant
to the CEO and asked her if this was true, and as it turns out, Wired has
no plans to sell off any part of its brand name.  it seems like sensational
news is always leaking from the office... and the employees are always the
last to know!  :)

>This message was forwarded to you from ZDNet ( by
>bcmayes at
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>   This article is from ZDNN (
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>   Wired looking to sell Net `zines'
>   By John Gilles, ZDTV
>   December 3, 1997 6:33 PM PST
>   ZDNN
>   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.
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>   Copyright (c) 1997 ZDNet. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole
>   or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of
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>   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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