Women.com and Hearst Join Forces to Form Online Network for Women

Posted on January 28, 1999

Women.com Networks and Hearst New Media & Technology have announced the formation of the largest online network for women. Hearst and Women.com Networks will each own approximately 50 percent of the new enterprise, which will include the Women.com network and the HomeArts.com network. The joint venture will be called Women.com Networks.

The Hearst joint venture with Women.com includes several assets in addition to HomeArts.com. These include distribution rights for the Hearst women's magazine sites; promotion in Hearst's leading women's magazines; on-air promotion from Hearst's television properties and interests (which include Lifetime, A&E, The History Channel, and the Hearst-Argyle group of network-affiliated television stations); capital; and Astronet, an online astrology site which was recently acquired by Hearst. The 10 Hearst magazine sites to be distributed by Women.com Networks are Cosmopolitan, Country Living, Country Living Gardener, Country Living's Healthy Living, Good Housekeeping, Harper's BAZAAR, House Beautiful, Redbook, Town & Country and Victoria. Hearst magazines reach 48 million women each month.

Marleen McDaniel, current president and CEO of Women.com Networks, will hold the roles of CEO, President and Chairperson in the new company. Kathryn Creech, currently general manager of HomeArts, will assume the role of Senior Vice President and General Manager of the HomeArts division in Women.com Networks. Hearst and Women.com will each have four members on the Women.com board of directors. The company's headquarters will remain in San Mateo, Calif. with significant operations in New York City.

"Women.com and HomeArts have each built compelling services and strong interactive businesses. This combination will deliver increased value to our audience, as well as to the advertisers who want to reach women - the most important market on the Web." explained CEO McDaniel. "The cross media synergies that Hearst brings to the venture add an exciting new dimension to the new Women.com Networks."

Frank A. Bennack, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hearst Corporation, said, "Both HomeArts and Women.com have built impressive and promising online franchises. The combination of the companies will provide women with the largest and most comprehensive portfolio of services and brands anywhere on the Web. We believe that Hearst's strong magazine brands have been and will continue to be a powerful attraction to women on the Internet."