SOURCE: Fisher Communications, Inc.

Fisher Communications, Inc.

February 01, 2010 16:30 ET

Fisher Communications Announces Strategic Investment in DataSphere Technologies, Inc.

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - February 1, 2010) - Fisher Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSCI) today announced that it has made a $1.5 million strategic investment in DataSphere Technologies, Inc., a Bellevue, Washington-based company. DataSphere is a Software as a Service (SaaS) Web technology and hyperlocal ad sales company focused on generating online profits for media companies.

Fisher's investment was part of DataSphere's $10.8 million Series B preferred stock financing round and provides Fisher a minority equity stake in the company. In conjunction with the investment, Fisher's President and Chief Executive Officer, Colleen B. Brown joined DataSphere's Board of Directors.

DataSphere's technology and local sales solutions enable the creation and monetization of hyperlocal content. To date, Fisher has partnered with DataSphere to launch over 100 hyperlocal neighborhood sites in Seattle, Washington; Portland and Eugene, Oregon; Bakersfield, California; and Boise, Idaho. In collaboration with Fisher, DataSphere also distributes the technology and sales solutions to other broadcast companies looking to establish hyperlocal sites.

"Technology is transforming the media industry and, as a result, broadcasters need to find new, innovative ways to grow our advertiser base and extend the reach of our valuable brands and content," said Ms. Brown. "We are combining DataSphere's proven technology and sales solutions with our deep community connections and other traditional strengths to create a series of neighborhood Web sites that allow us to better serve our viewers, listeners and business partners and diversify our sources of revenue. We look forward to working with DataSphere to bring this successful platform to other local media companies across the country."

"Fisher Communications continues to set the pace in its efforts to migrate traditional media to the online world," said Satbir Khanuja, CEO of DataSphere Technologies. "We are thrilled to have them as a strategic partner."

About Fisher

Fisher Communications, Inc. is a Seattle-based communications company that owns and operates 13 full power television stations, 7 low power television stations, and 8 radio stations in the Western United States. The Company also owns and operates Fisher Interactive Network, its online division, (including over 100 online sites); Fisher Pathways, a satellite and fiber transmission provider; and Fisher Plaza, a media, telecommunications, and data center facility located near downtown Seattle.

About DataSphere

DataSphere Technologies, Inc. (http://www.DataSphere.com) is a Software as a Service (SaaS) Web technology and hyperlocal ad sales company focused on generating online profits for media companies. DataSphere offers a range of turnkey solutions to rapidly improve site monetization and experience with minimal investment of time and money. DataSphere is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, USA and led by a team of Internet veterans with backgrounds from Amazon.com, IMDb, Microsoft, RealNetworks and AltaVista.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release includes forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events. Forward-looking statements include information preceded by, followed by, or that includes the words "guidance," "believes," "expects," "anticipates," or "could," or similar expressions. For these statements, the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release, concerning, among other things, changes in revenue, cash flow and operating expenses, involve risks and uncertainties, and are subject to change based on various important factors, including the impact of changes in national and regional economies, our ability to service and refinance our outstanding debt, successful integration of acquired television stations (including achievement of synergies and cost reductions), pricing fluctuations in local and national advertising, future regulatory actions and conditions in the television stations' operating areas, competition from others in the broadcast television markets served by the Company, volatility in programming costs, the effects of governmental regulation of broadcasting, industry consolidation, technological developments and major world news events. Unless required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this news release might not occur. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. For more details on factors that could affect these expectations, please see the risk factors in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, as updated by the risk factors contained in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2009, both of which we have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Fisher Communications
    Sard Verbinnen & Co
    Ron Low or David Isaacs
    (415) 618-8750

    DataSphere
    Erin Coffey Rinabarger
    Email Contact
    (425) 644-7540