July 18, 2006 -- Sophisticated and novice travelers alike now have access to destination information on a higher plateau than ever before with the launch of Salon's "Literary Guide to the World." The new section on Salon.com, sponsored by the Travel Channel via an upfront commitment, introduces features essays by noted writers about their favorite domestic and international travel destinations and the literature that brings these destinations to life.
"Literary Guide to the World," an interactive website within Salon, launches with eight features from writers including best-selling author Alexandra Fuller, writing about Zimbabwe; Booker Prize-winner John Banville, about Ireland; and acclaimed young novelist Tony D'Souza, on Havana. Other debut destinations include Martha's Vineyard, Arizona, Togo, Spitalfields and Whitechapel in London (following the literary trail of Jack the Ripper), and vivid literature on Vietnam including its beauty, culture and people, as well as some of the best writing on the Vietnam war and its impact on the landscape, history and the world.
"'Literary Guide to the World' will become the ultimate companion for the well-read traveler," says Salon Editor in Chief Joan Walsh. "This is much more than a typical destination tour book. Readers will experience a virtual cultural immersion in each destination through multiple platforms on our site."
The interactive journey begins on a large, colorful world map that allows the reader to click on the destination of their choice. Visitors can download content for Podcasts, and a Real Networks player will be integrated to play music. Readers will be able to contribute their own suggestions in real time about each destination, offering their own picks or musing on the choices made by Salon's expert writers. In addition, the essays' authors will recommend further reading material that will define each location.
Sponsorship for this innovative program is provided by the Travel Channel as part of their "Be a Traveler" campaign which promotes a mix of new and existing programming. When the Travel Channel began looking for media partnerships that reach a travel-impassioned audience, Salon's savvy, well-traveled readers as well as its unique literary guide idea made the sponsorship a great opportunity for both companies and a major coup for travelers around the world. As part of the Salon sponsorship program, the Travel Channel's "Be a Traveler" campaign receives main site pass advertising, banners, video ads and sponsorship of Salon's Video Dog video blog. The Travel Channel program runs through December.
Salon will roll out two new locations weekly during the summer and one per week in the fall, focusing on cities and regions that include major U.S. destinations and popular European and Eastern European cities and countries as well as more far-flung spots. The goal is to cover at least 70 destinations.
About Discovery Communications, Inc.
Discovery Communications, Inc. is the leading global real-world media company. Discovery has grown from its core property, the Discovery Channel, first launched in the United States in 1985, to current global operations in 170 countries and territories with nearly 1.4 billion cumulative subscribers. DCI's over 100 networks of distinctive programming represent 27 network entertainment brands including TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery Kids, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel, Military Channel, Discovery Home Channel, Discovery en Espaqol, Discovery Kids en Espaqol, Discovery HD Theater, FitTV, Discovery Travel & Living (Viajar y Vivir), Discovery Home & Health and Discovery Real Time. DCI's other properties consist of Discovery Education and Discovery Commerce, which operates more than 100 Discovery Channel Stores in the U.S. DCI also distributes BBC America in the United States. DCI's ownership consists of four shareholders: Discovery Holding Company (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), Cox Communications, Inc., Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, the Company's Founder and Chairman.
Salon, the award-winning online news and entertainment web site, combines original investigative stories, breaking news, and provocative personal essays along with quick-take commentary and staff-written blogs about politics, technology, culture and entertainment. Committed to interactivity, Salon also hosts two online communities, Table Talk and The Well. A leader in developing editorial products since 1995, Salon's latest features -- Videodog (viral video clips), Audiofile (downloadable music), the Daou Report (opinionated blogosphere guide), and automated Letters to the Editor have helped grow Salon's audience. Salon is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in New York City and Washington D.C.