Salon.com Signs Television Sales Agreement with Burt Wolf and Accelerates Broadband Plans

New potential revenue stream through TV sponsorship; extensive cross-promotion; and streaming video on its Internet network


Salon Staff
January 6, 2000 6:53PM (UTC)

Salon.com (Nasdaq: SALN; www.salon.com), one of the Internet's leading media companies, today announced that it will sponsor a
television series hosted by renowned travel and food author and television
personality Burt Wolf. This sponsorship follows up on the convergence
agreement signed in December with Rainbow Media Holdings Inc. in which the
two companies will create an original television series and jointly sell
advertising on Rainbow's cable television networks. With the sponsorship announced
today, Salon.com's national sales force will have the ability to sell advertising inventory and create sponsorship packages with its online properties on the public television series "Burt Wolf: Travels & Traditions." In addition, the deal will serve as a potential traffic driver for the online network.

Under the agreement, Salon.com will sponsor the next 13 episodes of Wolf's new nationally syndicated public television series, which launches in April and focuses on travel and cultural subjects around the world. Salon.com will have the ability to sell advertising time around each TV episode. At the end of each program, Wolf will also direct viewers to the Salon.com network to read his new, weekly column and view segments of his archive of more than 100 television travel episodes that originally appeared on PBS, CNN and the Discovery Travel Network. To read Wolf's column, which begins today, go to http://www.salon.com/.

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"As the Internet begins to converge with traditional media such as television and radio, Salon.com is positioning itself in that new environment," said Michael O'Donnell, Salon.com CEO and president. "Teaming up with Burt Wolf allows Salon.com to do just that, while at the same time offering multiple online and offline options to our advertisers."

In December, Salon.com announced the development of its first television program with Bravo Networks, the cable channel owned by Rainbow Media Holdings, a division of Cablevision Systems Corporation. Under the agreement, Rainbow acquires a 10 percent equity stake in Salon.com and both companies will exchange content on each other's Web properties, cross-sell advertising and explore broadband distribution opportunities.

"Burt Wolf is a prized addition to Salon.com's roster of talent. His intelligent perspective on the pleasures of travel makes him the perfect guest at our virtual dinner table," said David Talbot, Salon.com's chairman and editor in chief.

Since 1980, travel enthusiasts have enjoyed Wolf's television programming. During
his 30 years as a journalist he has also written or edited more than 60
books

"I can't think of a better partner for my travel writing and television
work," said Wolf. "Salon.com maintains the highest level of journalistic integrity coupled with the most compelling stories. I am looking forward to building on my relationship with Salon.com."

Today also marks the re-launch of Salon's Travel site as Salon Travel & Food
(www.salon.com/travel). Expanding on the award-winning travel writing for
which Salon Travel has become renowned, Salon Travel & Food adds a weekly
column by Burt Wolf, based on his world-wandering adventures; Travel
Advocate, a reader service designed to help travelers in distress; Daily
Planet, short news items from around the world; and weekly features by some
of today's most compelling food writers. The additions will complement the
lively, first-person tales, essays and columns that have made Salon Travel
one of the most popular sites on the Salon.com network.

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ABOUT BURT WOLF

Burt Wolf is the host and author of five internationally syndicated
television series that deal with food, travel and cultural history. He was
the first recipient of the James Beard Foundation Award for "Best Television
Food Journalism," and has been nominated for two cable Ace Awards and an Emmy in connection with travel and cultural history. His reports,
which are videotaped entirely on location throughout the world, have been
described as the best food and travel-related series on television by The New
York Times.

During his 30 years as a journalist Wolf has written or edited more than 60
books. In 1975, he founded a national franchise of over 200 cooking
equipment shops called The Cooks' Kitchens, which were installed in major
department stores, including Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Marshall Field's,
Burdine's and Bullock's.

ABOUT SALON.COM

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Salon.com (Nasdaq: SALN; www.salon.com; AOL Keyword: Salon) is an Internet
media company that produces a network of 10 original content sites and two
communities -- Table Talk and The Well. Salon.com was founded by David
Talbot, former arts editor of the San Francisco Examiner. Premier advertisers
and sponsors of Salon.com include IBM, Lexus, Microsoft, Virgin.com, Intel,
DrKoop.com, barnesandnoble.com and EDS. The network has relationships with
275 advertising sponsors. In September 1999, the site had 1.9 million unique
visitors.

Salon.com recently announced an equity and content agreement with Rainbow
Media Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation and
NBC. Salon.com also has an e-commerce ticketing arrangement with
CultureFinder.com and distribution arrangements for its books, news and
technology content via Rocket eBooks and AvantGo. Salon.com distributes its
content to major online companies including America Online, Lycos, Go.com,
Alta Vista, Reuters, CNN.com and Cnet and is syndicated to North American
newspapers through United Features.

This announcement contains forward-looking statements concerning advertising and traffic growth that involve risks and uncertainties including, among others, advertising sales revenue in the year 2000, acceptance and effectiveness of advertising, growth in use of the Internet, Salon.com's limited operating history, anticipated losses, the unpredictability of its future revenues, competition, risks associated with system development and operation risks, management of potential growth and risks of new business areas, business combinations and strategic alliances. Actual results could differ materially from those discussed. More information about factors that potentially could affect Salon.com's financial results are included in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to the company on the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update such statements.

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