CNN, Int’l Data Group ink 3-year alliance

News group, publisher enter $50 mil cross-promotional deal

NEW YORK — The CNN News Group has engineered a $50 million, three-year “strategic alliance” with information-technology publisher Intl. Data Group (IDG).

The deal follows on the heels of CNN’s alliance three months ago with the Internet-based service WebMD. In the two ventures, CNN gets an unspecified equity stake in each company, while the partners agree to spend millions of guaranteed advertising dollars to promote their services across all CNN’s cable nets. IDG will pony up about $15 million on these ads over the three-year life of the contract.

In a conference call with reporters, Tom Johnson, chairman, president and CEO of CNN News Group, said one key bonus to the IDG deal is a weekly half-hour newsmagazine about technology that will kick off on CNN/US and CNN Intl. this fall. This new series, still untitled, will draw some of its information from IDG’s 240 Web sites, its 290 newspapers and magazines, and 700 book titles, said Rob Tolleson, senior VP, business operations and development, CNN News Group.

Cross-promotion is one of the benefits of these alliances, said Larry Goodman, president of news sales and marketing for Turner Broadcasting. CNN gets its logo plastered over a number of online sites because at the end of many of the on-air stories about technology and medicine, CNN will direct viewers to log on to IDG and WebMD locations to get more information.

And, of course, IDG and WebMD get their brands into the homes of the 76.3 million CNN subscribers who are watching that particular report.