FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 8, 2000
For more information, contact
Bill Peterson, WRAL-TV General Manager (919)821-8568
Reid Johnson, IBS President (651)365-4000
WRAL-TV Joins The Internet Broadcasting Systems Network
Leading Local Web Site Taps Revenue Power
NEW YORK, November 8, 2000 – WRAL-TV and Internet Broadcasting Systems announced today that WRAL OnLine, one of the most successful local TV Websites in the country, will join the IBS network of local “Web Channels”. WRAL OnLine is the leading local news Website in Raleigh-Durham, NC, and one of the most dominant local destinations in the country, with 25 percent reach, over ten million monthly page views and over 300,000 unique visitors. WRAL OnLine won the NATPE Iris Award for best local TV Website in 1999. WRAL-TV is one of the most innovative and respected local TV broadcasters in the nation.
Capitol Broadcasting, owner of WRAL-TV and also of WRAZ-TV in Durham, WJZY-TV and WFVT-TV in Charlotte, and WILM-TV in Wilmington, has agreed to join forces with IBS to capitalize on the IBS network’s success in driving substantial new revenue for local web sites and television stations. As part of the agreement, IBS will develop Web Channels for the above stations; Capitol Broadcasting made an undisclosed investment in IBS and became a co-owner of the IBS network.
With the addition of WRAL OnLine, the IBS network now claims the three most visited local TV Websites on the Internet according to the October 2000 PC Data rankings. Channel4000.com and Channel2000.com, the Web Channels for WCCO in Minneapolis and KCBS in Los Angeles, respectively, hold first and second place in the rankings. The IBS network spans 53 markets in North America, including 31 of the “Top 50” US markets, and covers over 40% of US households and over 90% of Canadian households.
“Seeing WRAL join the IBS network is like Michael Jordan asking to play on your team. This is a wonderful affirmation that the IBS network delivers ratings, revenue, and results for broadcasters,” said Tolman Geffs, CEO of IBS. “WRAL OnLine offers the Raleigh-Durham community the very best local news and weather coverage online and IBS is strongly committed to building on their excellence.”
WRAL and Capitol Broadcasting join other leading broadcasters such as Hearst-Argyle, Post-Newsweek, McGraw-Hill and CanWest as partners and owners of the IBS Network.
“We have a proud tradition at WRAL and WRAL OnLine of outstanding service to the community. We won the first-ever IRIS award for TV web sites,” said Jim Goodmon, president of Capitol Broadcasting Company. “We are excited to continue that pioneering tradition with IBS, while at the same time tapping into new national online advertising and e-commerce revenue opportunities. Partnering with IBS also allows us to focus more resources on local content. ”
It was also announced that John Conway, the Director of New Media at WRAL OnLine and one of its original staffers, will join IBS as its Director of TV and Web Integration.
IBS is the first and largest network of local Web Channels — Web sites that combine the “must-know” local content of the dominant TV station in a top market with a broad range of Web services, backed by extensive promotion from the station. IBS is launching local channels across a total of 53 markets, including 31 of the top 50, primarily with top- ranked stations. IBS is launching across the U.S. in partnership with Hearst-Argyle Television (NYSE: HTV), Post-Newsweek Stations, a division of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO), McGraw-Hill Broadcasting Group, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) and across Canada with the CanWest Global (NYSE: CWG) network.
Since launching its first site in 1996, IBS has been recognized for excellence in online journalism by major organizations like the National Press Club, The Associated Press, and the Society for Professional Journalists. In addition to IBS’ broadcasting partners, other investors in IBS include InfoSpace (Nasdaq: INSP) and St. Paul Venture Capital.
Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. is a diversified communications company which owns and/or operates WRAL-TV, WRAL-Digital, WRAL-FM, Microspace, the North Carolina News Network, DTV Plus, Wolfpack Sports Marketing, and Capitol Sports Management in Raleigh, NC; WJZY-TV and WFVT-TV in Charlotte, NC; WILM-TV in Wilmington, NC; WRAZ-TV and the Durham Bulls Baseball Club in Durham, NC; and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Baseball Club in Myrtle Beach, SC; Capitol Broadcasting Company also founded Local TV on Satellite in Raleigh, NC.