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GeoCities names CEO

As one of the final steps in building a strong online community and media company, GeoCities taps media mogul Thomas R. Evans as chief executive.

    GeoCities tapped a media mogul as chief executive as one of the final steps in building a strong online community and media company.

    GeoCities today named Thomas R. Evans chief executive officer. He was previously president and publisher of U.S. News & World Report and Fast Company and president of Atlantic Monthly. Evans will join the company on May 4, 1998, and work to build GeoCities into a leading online media company.

    The company has been searching for a replacement for founder David Bohnett since the beginning of the year. Bohnett, who has served as CEO since the company was launched in November 1994, will continue in his role as chairman of the board and develop the company's long-term growth strategy.

    Evans will lead the growth of GeoCities' multiple revenue streams and build GeoCities up as a consumer brand. GeoCities generates revenue through advertising, premium member services, and electronic commerce partnerships. The company recently launched GeoShops, a complete e-commerce solution available to all GeoCities' 1.7 million homesteaders.

    Geocities derives its revenue from a series of e-commerce deals, such as those with Egghead.com (EGGS) and Amazon.com (AMZN), along with other fee services.

    Bohnett told CNET's NEWS.COM last month that 80 percent of the company's income is based on advertising and 20 percent on commerce and value-added services like GeoPlus. In two years, Bohnett predicted, 40 percent of revenues will come from sources other than advertising.

    GeoCities has been facing increasing competition as more companies aim to turn their Web sites into communication and community hubs. Services such as Yahoo (YHOO), Excite (XCIT), and Infoseek (SEEK) have been increasing their offerings to provide personalized services. Lycos (LCOS) recently bought out one of GeoCities' biggest competitors, Tripod, for $58 million in stock to bulk up its online community.

    "We will continue to develop GeoCities, the largest and most successful community on the Web, into a major consumer service," Evans said in a statement. "I look forward to working closely with the GeoCities team and making GeoCities a valuable brand and profitable Internet media company."

    Investors in GeoCities include CMG@Ventures, the venture arm of CMG Information Services; Softbank Holdings, Yahoo, Intel, Chase Capital Partners, InnoCal, and Flatiron Partners.

    GeoCities has said that it hopes to go public sometime in 1998.