Salon.com (Nasdaq: SALN, http://www.salon.com), one of the Internet's leading media companies, today announced that Lexus, one of the world's leading luxury automobile companies, has renewed its exclusive content sponsorship for the third straight year. Financial terms were not disclosed.
In addition to its continuing sponsorship of Salon.com's popular Brilliant Careers series and Salon's People site, Lexus will also sponsor the Salon People Interview. A new biweekly feature, the Salon People Interview will cover an eclectic spectrum of cultural figures. Other terms of the agreement include: a signature offline event, streaming audio spots on Salon's new online radio programming, "e-mail a friend" functionality and an essay contest.
"We are thrilled to be extending the Salon-Lexus partnership for the third year in-a-row," said Michael O'Donnell, CEO and president of Salon.com. "The Lexus brand and the Salon.com brand stand for the finest quality and appeal to the same group of upscale, thoughtful customers. Through continued sponsorship of Salon's award-winning content and offline events, Lexus is maximizing their reach to this influential audience."
Since November of 1998, Lexus has sponsored the highly acclaimed weekly series "Brilliant Careers," which offers readers intelligent and in-depth essays on the lives of the most influential figures of our time. Over the past year, personalities featured have included Lou Reed, Arthur C. Clarke, Stan Lee, Joni Mitchell, R. Crumb and Robert Altman.
Salon.com and Lexus recently hosted the second annual live event celebrating the Brilliant Careers partnership. Dubbed "Degas to Dot-com," the event featured a modern day salon discussion on the fusion of arts, entertainment and technology, MC'd by Ben Stein, host of Comedy Central's "Win Ben Stein's Money." Participants in the discussion included seven-time Emmy winner Tracey Ullman; Pulitzer prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert; pop-culture icon Stan Lee; critically acclaimed director Mike Figgis; cyber-visionary and scholar Brenda Laurel; and musician, producer and Internet entrepreneur Jerry Harrison.
"Salon.com continues to be among the elite Internet brands," said Paul Ratzky, director of Interactive Marketing Team One, the advertising agency for Lexus. "Lexus recognized the value of the Salon brand nearly two years ago. Salon continues to distinguish itself as the destination on the Web for smart commentary on what matters most to today's readers, and we look forward to our association with this passionate audience."
Salon People ( http://www.salon.com/people ) is one of Salon.com's most popular sites. In addition to Brilliant Careers, the site features a column by renowned feminist and author Camille Paglia, Rob Brezny's Freewill Astrology, and Nothing Personal, Amy Reiter's daily gossip column.
Founded in 1995, Salon.com is a leading Internet media company that produces a network of 12 award-winning, original content sites; maintains Salon Shop, an e-commerce gateway; and hosts two communities -- Table Talk and The WELL. In May 2000, Salon acquired MP3Lit.com, the pioneering Web site offering quality spoken word and audio literature recordings. In October, 2000, Salon.com completed the integration of Mp3Lit.com into the Salon network and launched Salon Audio, a site offering 24-hour music programming, daily downloads and streaming audio from Salon's favorite columnists, as well as hundreds of downloadable versions of short stories, poems and interviews in MP3 and Real Audio formats. Over 450 companies have advertised on Salon.com including IBM, Lexus, Microsoft, EDS, AskJeeves, Virgin Megastore Online, Kimberly Clark and Intel. In December 1999, Salon.com announced a content and equity agreement with Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation and NBC. Strategic distribution partners include America Online (AOL), Reuters, TheStreet.com, CNN.com and CNET as well as wireless innovator AvantGo. Salon.com content is also syndicated to print publications through United Features Syndicate. The site had 2.5 million unique visitors in June 2000 as audited by ABC Interactive, a subsidiary of the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
Lexus, the luxury vehicle division of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., markets and sells luxury cars and sport utility vehicles through 176 dealers in the United States. Lexus prides itself on providing the best in vehicle quality, service and customer satisfaction. The company's dealers have achieved the highest honors in customer satisfaction eight out of the last nine years from the independent research firm J.D. Powers and Associates. Additionally, with record-setting sales in 1999, Lexus is one of the fastest-growing luxury nameplates in the industry.