**Veronis Suhler acted as financial advisor to WeddingNetwork.com.
Group Positioned to Continue Leadership of Wedding Market in Both Traditional and New Media
NEW YORK --Oct. 25, 2000-- John Loughlin, president and CEO, Primedia's Consumer Media and Magazines, (NYSE: PRM) announced today that the company's Modern Bride Group has taken a controlling interest in Denver-based Internet Gift Registries, and its WeddingNetwork.com, its online wedding gift registry business. This move gives Primedia the largest omni-media position across on-line and off-line wedding businesses among media companies.
As a result of this expanded alliance with Internet Gift Registries, Mr. Loughlin also announced promotions and appointments of senior executives designed to continue leadership position in the wedding marketplace.
The agreement to expand the Modern Bride Group's partnership with Internet Gift Registries is a strategic move that will enable the company to more effectively address the wedding market. Primedia will integrate WeddingNetwork.com site with ModernBride.com, creating the world's premier online wedding company. Internet Gift Registries will become the online wedding platform for the Modern Bride Group. The May Department Stores Company (NYSE: MAY), which will continue holding an equity stake in IGR, launched its on-line bridal gift registry business in June using IGR technologies. May operates its wedding registry through sites for seven of its eight regional department store companies nationwide. May has seen rapid adoption among gift purchasers.
Mr. Loughlin said, ``Working together over the two and a half years, Primedia and Internet Gift Registries have recognized the tremendous potential of this market and the importance of strengthening our relationship in order to create the leading online and offline brand in the wedding category. We are confident that we are now well positioned to capitalize on this tremendous market opportunity and provide the best resources available on the Internet and in print for the entire wedding category.''
As WeddingNetwork.com is combined with ModernBride.com, the new site will become the comprehensive one-stop destination for engaged couples and wedding guests to access wedding information, planning and advice, ideas and other resources. ModernBride.com will have a number of revenue streams including enabling bridal registry sales for multiple retailers, honeymoon travel services, wedding accessories, local services and joint offline/online sponsorship and advertising opportunities. The development of local content and services will be provided through the deep relationships and advertising base of Modern Bride Connection's 16 regional/local publications.
Based on independent research of the bridal market, there are more than 2.3 million marriages every year with total spending on the range of wedding information, services and gifts at more than $40 billion. The wedding gift registry market alone is an estimated $8 billion industry.
``This is an exciting development for Internet Gift Registries,'' said Stephen Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer of Internet Gift Registries. ``Modern Bride is an industry leader with more than 50 years of experience at providing engaged couples with invaluable information about the planning process. This investment provides the Modern Bride Group with the opportunity to extend its online presence more effectively through WeddingNetwork.com. By adding a full complement of wedding information and services to the already strong retail registry foundation established by Wedding Network through its relationship with the May Co and other leading wedding industry vendors, this will be a transforming experience for engaged couples, combining bricks and clicks with print and passion.''
``May has great respect for the Modern Bride brand and its ability to expand and enhance this premier wedding portal,'' said Gene S. Kahn, president and chief executive officer of The May Department Stores Company. ``Since going online in late summer, our Internet wedding registry program is already proving to be much used and a tremendous service to our registered couples and their families and friends. We look forward to working with the Modern Bride Group to make these wedding sites even more exciting and valuable.''
Mr. Loughlin also announced a number of appointments and promotions within the Modern Bride Group to enhance the Group's focus on developing the leading offline/online wedding company. They include:
-- Margery Gladstone has been named to the newly created position of president, Modern Bride Group. In her new position, Ms. Gladstone will oversee the entire Modern Bride Group, developing and implementing a strategy to integrate traditional and online brands, leveraging advertising relationships and establishing the Modern Bride brand as the leader in the wedding category. Ms. Gladstone brings more than 20 years of magazine publishing and Internet experience to this new position. She joins Primedia from Boxerjam.com, where she was senior vice president Advertising and Sponsorship Sales and successfully positioned the company for growth in the rapidly changing Internet world. She has also been a group publisher with Reader's Digest, publisher of Fitness Magazine, associate publisher of Lear's Magazine and senior advertising executive with Woman's Day Magazine. Doug Fierro, who formerly ran the Modern Bride Group, is leaving to pursue other business opportunities.
-- Roger Antin has been named vice president and publisher of Modern Bride Magazine. As publisher of Modern Bride Magazine, Mr. Antin will be responsible for the development and growth of the print publication and will also work closely with Ms. Gladstone to drive advertising and cross-promotion between the online and the offline publication. He joins Primedia from Worth Media, where he was the publisher of Civilization Magazine. He is also the past publisher of Conde Nast publications' Bride's Magazine from 1992-1997, where he successfully increased advertising pages, revenues and profits during his tenure.
-- Ilene Rapkin, formerly the publisher of Modern Bride, has been named to a newly created position, senior vice president, Strategic Market Development within Primedia Consumer Media and Magazines. This new position is designed to leverage advertising and marketing reach across brands and categories for Primedia's many consumer magazine and Internet businesses.
``The addition of these senior executives will fuel the growth and development of the Modern Bride Group and help to integrate the offline and online brands reinforcing our leadership in the wedding category,'' said Mr. Loughlin. ``Marjorie and Roger have track records of success by driving revenue through enhancing advertising relationships and building brands both on and offline.''
About Primedia, Inc.
PRIMEDIA Inc., with 1999 sales from continuing businesses of $1.7 billion, is a targeted media company with print, video and Internet businesses focused on consumer and business-to-business audiences. The Company publishes more than 220 magazines, and owns and operates approximately than 300 Web sites and other Internet properties.
About The Modern Bride Group
Modern Bride Magazine is the flagship publication of the World's Largest Bridal Company, the Modern Bride Group. The Modern Bride Group includes Modern Bride Magazine, ModernBride.com, Modern Bride Connection, 16 regional magazines delivering local wedding-planning information, WeddingNetwork.com, the leading Internet Gift Registry service, National and Regional Live Bridal Events, Your Prom Magazine and YourProm.com. Leading the industry for over 50 years, Modern Bride Magazine delivers more engaged women than any other bridal magazine published in America. Primedia is the parent company of Modern Bride.
About Internet Gift Registries
Internet Gift Registries is a Denver-based full-service online gift registry and retailing company. Internet Gift Registries' WeddingNetwork.com is the most comprehensive online wedding resource, offering creative tools, imaginative ideas and real answers to help engaged couples plan unique wedding celebrations. WeddingNetwork.com partners with a broad network of retailers to provide traditional and unique online gift registry options. The company is the official online registry and content partner for Modern Bride magazine, Modern Bride Connection's 16 regional publications and ModernBride.com.
About The May Department Stores Company
The May Department Stores Company is one of the largest department store retailers in the United States, with revenues of $13.9 billion. May operates 427 quality department stores nationwide under eight divisions and 12 trade names: Lord & Taylor, Hecht's, Strawbridge's, Foley's, Robinsons-May, Filene's, Kaufmann's, Famous-Barr, L.S. Ayres, The Jones Store, Meier & Frank and ZCMI. May also operates 116 David's Bridal stores in 36 states and Puerto Rico. May is headquartered in St. Louis, Mo.
This release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning PRIMEDIA's operations, economic performance and financial condition. These statements are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates, which are inherently subject to uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, and reflect future business decisions, which are subject to change. Some of these assumptions may not materialize, and unanticipated events will occur which can affect the Company's results.
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