The National Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid that claims to reach 18 million readers weekly, announced that it is coming to the Web with an interactive edition.
The free site will be supported by advertising. It will use content from each weekly edition, as well as interactive features such as chat with celebrities, online conversations between readers and editors, and regularly updated reports on celebrity gossip. It also will include actress Arlene Dahl's horoscope and diet tips from Jenny Craig, executives said. On the advertising side, the site will feature some 1.5 million classified ads.
"We're not just scanning [the print version] and throwing it up; we're doing things that you can only do online" such as hosting interactive forums, said Rick Gibson, chief executive of E-Ticket, which has struck a deal with the Enquirer to publish the online version. "It's like the Enquirer 2000."
The Enquirer has been running a "test site" at its Internet address--basically a promotional site--but the interactive version will replace it, Gibson added. E-Ticket has struck alliances with AdOne for classified advertising and NetGravity for server software.
E-Ticket also is responsible for creating an online version of the syndicated television show, America's Most Wanted Online. The company is acquiring the rights to create online versions for "megabrand properties," as Gibson put it. E-Ticket's chairman is Bill Gross, the chief executive of idealab; idealab is an investor in E-Ticket.
Last October, Reader's Digest announced an online magazine, a Web search directory, and two new sites on home maintenance and online shopping. It marked the company's first foray into Net publishing.
In January, WebTV and TV Guide, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, announced an alliance to link editorial content. Analysts saw the move as a major step toward marrying the Net with television. The deal involved redesigning TV Guide's iGuide Web site to offer channels focusing on TV, movies, music, and sports.