October 07, 2009 13:24 ET

Fisher Launches 38 Hyperlocal Neighborhood Web Sites in Portland and Eugene to Serve Local Communities and Advertisers

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - October 7, 2009) - Fisher Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSCI) today announced that it has launched a network of 28 hyperlocal neighborhood Web sites in the Portland market and 10 in the Eugene market, increasing local content offerings and expanding advertising opportunities for local businesses. The hyperlocal sites bring together the stations' valuable content and DataSphere Technologies' LocalNet service, including an online platform that provides technology, advertising and sales solutions.

The hyperlocal sites are designed to provide local communities with the best source of information about news, events, entertainment and personalities relevant to their day-to-day lives. A complete list of the sites can be found at www.KATU.com/communities and www.KVAL.com/communities.

Fisher's President and CEO Colleen B. Brown stated, "With our strong local broadcasting heritage as our foundation, we are building our 'broadcast to broadband' initiative in order to provide neighborhood information at a grassroots level while further enabling local businesses to efficiently reach their customers. This effort has been very successful in Seattle, our first launch market, and we are pleased to now be able to offer these services in Portland and Eugene."

"With our long history of serving Oregon and southwestern Washington, we are proud to now reach even deeper into our communities with this initiative," said KATU Vice President and General Manager John Tamerlano. "KVAL Communities is a great way for us to provide coverage for important events that are too narrow in scope for the over-the-air product," added KVAL Vice President and General Manager Greg Raschio.

To support their hyperlocal Web sites, KATU and KVAL will restructure their newsrooms to effectively and efficiently capture and post community news on a real-time basis. Local stories and breaking news that station reporters cover on a daily basis will be complemented with user generated content, and also with content provided through an innovative partnership with Windermere Real Estate, a company with local knowledge and strong presence in each community.

The launch of the Oregon sites builds on the successful launch of Fisher's 44 hyperlocal sites in the Seattle market in August. Fisher expects to launch similar platforms in its other markets. In addition, Fisher and DataSphere anticipate distributing the technology and sales solution to other broadcast companies looking to establish hyperlocal sites.

DataSphere Technologies' new LocalNet service provides TV broadcasters and other local media companies with the opportunity to take advantage of powerful existing brands and communication channels to build relevant and valuable online assets. LocalNet is a complete solution to address the local small business advertising market, including not only technology but also a seasoned, professional sales team. New clients can be up and running within weeks.

About Fisher Communications, Inc.

Fisher Communications, Inc. is a Seattle-based communications company that owns and operates 13 full power television stations (including a 50%-owned television station), 7 low power television stations, and 8 radio stations (in addition to 2 radio stations not owned by the Company but for which the Company provides programming or sales services) in the Western United States. The Company also owns and operates Fisher Interactive Network, its online division; Fisher Pathways, a satellite and fiber transmission provider; and Fisher Plaza, a media, telecommunications, and data center facility located near downtown Seattle. For more information about Fisher Communications, Inc., go to www.fsci.com.

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