SOURCE: Hearst Corporation

February 22, 2007 08:00 ET

Hearst Announces Plan to Launch "News Reader" Product at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Identify Potential Uses Across Hearst Brands

Software Offers Consumers a Superior Onscreen Reading Experience

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 22, 2007 -- In a continuing effort to expand the reach of its content, Hearst Corporation today announced an alliance with Microsoft Corp. that will allow Hearst media properties to utilize Windows Presentation Foundation technology to create "News Reader" software. Hearst's initial deployment of the News Reader software, which launches in beta at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer today, is a downloadable application providing computer users with a new way to view newspaper content onscreen. The "P-I Reader" can be downloaded at http://seattlepi.com/newsreader. The announcement was made by George B. Irish, president of Hearst Newspapers, and Kenneth A. Bronfin, president of Hearst Interactive Media.

The staff of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Web site, www.seattlepi.com, and Microsoft worked with software developer IdentityMine to create a digital reading experience that will be familiar to readers of Hearst's Seattle newspaper. The P-I Reader can download an entire newspaper in approximately two minutes, and the content then can be viewed with or without an Internet connection. The P-I Reader, with a sampling of the content available in the Post-Intelligencer and on seattlepi.com, will be available in free beta to registered users and can be downloaded starting today at www.seattlepi.com. Hearst is identifying opportunities across its brands -- including within its other newspapers and magazines -- to leverage this innovative new platform for publishing and distributing content and advertising.

Commenting on the announcement, Irish said: "At Hearst, we are constantly looking for new ways to reach our readers. It is clear that digital delivery and consumption are critical to the future success of the newspaper industry. We are very excited to be collaborating with Microsoft on this new application. We are delighted to begin the development of this technology in Seattle and intend to expand to our other major newspaper markets in the near future."

The P-I Reader allows users, such as business travelers or commuters, to synchronize their laptops before getting on an airplane or train and have available the latest content to read when it is most convenient. Up to six days of content can also be archived and read. The text and photos in the P-I Reader are displayed in a format to fit the size and layout of any computer screen and readers can customize the display according to personal preferences, such as font and window size, and move quickly through the pages, without scrolling. A user can navigate through the entire paper using just two arrow keys on the keyboard. The application works on any computer running Windows Vista or Windows XP, from desktop PCs to tablets to the latest ultra-mobile computing devices. Microsoft intends to broaden support for the application to additional platforms, including mobile devices and computers running Apple's Mac operating system, in the future.

Added Bronfin: "We want to continue to be at the forefront of the digital publishing world and one way we are doing that is by working with Microsoft, one of the world's top technology companies, to explore and profit from new media platforms. The quality of the reading experience remains paramount for us and we believe that readers will find this platform to be the best they've seen."

The program uses Windows Presentation Foundation, Microsoft's advanced display technology in Windows Vista. Consumers using Windows XP will automatically receive the necessary enhancement to their system when downloading the P-I Reader.

About Hearst Corporation

Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) is one of the nation's largest diversified media companies. Its major interests include 12 daily and 30 weekly newspapers, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News, and Albany Times Union; nearly 200 magazines around the world, including Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations through Hearst-Argyle Television (NYSE: HTV), which reach a combined 18% of U.S. viewers; joint venture interests in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, The History Channel and ESPN; as well as business publishing, including a joint venture interest in Fitch Group; Internet businesses; television production; newspaper features distribution; and real estate.

About IdentityMine

IdentityMine assists leading companies to successfully evaluate and adopt emerging technologies through conceptual demonstrations, functional prototypes, mentorship and training programs, as well as customized development projects. IdentityMine specializes in the design and architecture of immersive Web and interactive application experiences on the Microsoft .NET platform. The company designs, develops, and integrates tomorrow's solutions utilizing the most advanced tools and processes. From internal mission critical applications to new client product innovations, IdentityMine's goal is to merge form and function with a stunning user experience clients have come to expect. Clients include Microsoft, HP, NEC, CCH, Thomson Financial, Pfizer, Hearst Corporation and Forbes.

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