About.com adds WMA link to grow off ‘Net

Internet guide to drum up offline biz

Internet guide About.com has signed with the William Morris Agency, a move it hopes will help garner non-Internet projects.

As part of the agreement, William Morris’ corporate advisory group will pursue ventures tied with the agency’s entertainment clients to extend About.com’s brand.

The New York-based service already has several projects in the works, including a book series, TV programming and an online celebrity-based expansion for its Web site, naturally involving William Morris talent.

“We look forward to extending About.com’s brand aggressively across the entertainment industry and leveraging their network of online personalities,” said Jerry Katzman, vice chairman of William Morris. Lisa Shotland, East Coast head of corporate advisory, new media group, signed the firm.

The agency will also push About.com’s founders and columnists through print, broadcast and radio outlets, as well as speaking engagements.

“The About.com network and our AboutRadio programming are unique opportunities for celebrities across the industry to reach new and relevant audiences on the Web,” said About.com chairman and CEO Scott Kurnit.

About.com is a Web directory with 650 GuideSites, each dedicated to a single topic such as arts and entertainment, business, and news and issues.

William Morris’ Internet arm already reps such online players as Entertainment Drive, which serves as online managers for celebrities; e-zine Nerve Mag and Styleclick.com, an e-tailing fashion site.

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