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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

Switchboard Lands Berry, Knight Ridder Digital
Daniel N. Miller,Charles Laughlin , 7/18/2001

Issue: Race for IYP Platform Primacy

News: Switchboard Inc. and Knight Ridder Digital have entered into an agreement that provides for several services, hosted on Switchboard's platform, to be featured on the Real Cities network of local Web sites. Real Cities' locally branded Yellow Pages, White Pages, e-mail directory and online mapping and directions services will thus be "powered by Switchboard."

Switchboard also announced a three-year relationship with the Berry Co., a sales agent owned by BellSouth that handles local sales for more than 110 local telephone companies in markets that include Rochester, NY, Cincinnati and Anchorage. Under the deal, Berry will offer its local partners the chance to adopt a private-label version of the directory. The company will also sell online advertising that will be accessible though the CBS site. Switchboard's relationship with America Online was not part of this deal.

The Knight Ridder deal calls for both Knight Ridder Digital and Switchboard to sell display ads in the directories and share in the resulting revenues. In addition, Switchboard will offer Web site creation and hosting to local merchants in Real Cities markets. Switchboard will also take responsibility for migrating current customers onto its platform, providing properties with all the necessary customer-management tools and sales support services.

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