DALLAS -- GTE Directories Corporation (GTE) and IT Network, Inc. (IT Network), a
wholly owned subsidiary of Source Media Corporation (Source), both based in
Dallas, today announced that they have entered into a five-year strategic
alliance in which GTE will purchase audiotex services from IT Network,
including content development and customer service support. In addition, IT
Network will become GTE's sales agent for audiotex advertiser sponsorships
featured in the front section of select GTE The Everything Pagesr directories.
As part of the agreement, GTE will sell its current audiotex operations to IT
Network. Financial details of the agreement were not announced.
IT Network will run the audiotex operations at the current facility at GTE's
Central Region Headquarters in Irving, Texas. A full transition of operations
is expected by Feb. 28, 1997.
"We are very pleased and excited about this agreement," said GTE
Directories' Senior Vice President Marilyn Neal. "It provides us with several
key opportunities for new revenue by leveraging IT Network's strengths in
audiotex content and customer service, while also benefiting from a sales force
solely dedicated to selling audiotex in our current and planned markets.
Additionally, this alliance will allow us to reallocate our resources to focus
on other growth opportunities."
"This strategic alliance with GTE offers a number of significant
opportunities to our company," added IT Network's Telephone Division CEO Dan
Maitland. "Adding the strong GTE markets will increase the number of Yellow
Pages directories we support to more than 50 million. The GTE audiotex group has
an award-winning production and service facility. Merging it with our existing
Dallas and recently acquired R.H. Donnelley audiotex operations will ensure that
our services offered to publishers are of the highest quality in the industry."
Both Neal and Maitland stressed that they expect the transition of the
operations from GTE to IT Network to be virtually seamless, since IT Network
will utilize GTE's existing facility and equipment and will employ some of its
former audiotex employees. GTE Directories is a leader in the business of
linking buyers and sellers through effective advertising and information media.
The company provides sales and other directory-related services for more than
2,400 directories worldwide, with a total circulation of 80 million copies. It
develops and markets new media services, such as Superpages interactive
service , a premier Internet-based advertising and
information resource. The company also manages GTE Card Services, a provider of
pre-paid calling cards through nearly 4,000 U.S. retail locations and the GTE
VISA and MasterCard to over one million customers. GTE Directories was a 1994
winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which recognizes U.S.
companies with outstanding quality management systems. It is a unit of GTE
Corporation, Stamford, Conn.
Source Media is a leader in the interactive programming and services
industry. Source Media's IT Network, Inc., is found in over 40 million
directories across the country and offers access to free information of topics
ranging from health and legal to national sports, weather and news. Source
Media recently launched the Interactive ChannelK , an online television
programming service capable of delivering interactive news, weather, sports,
shopping and education services on demand over today's cable systems.