The Buffalo News will launch "www.buffalo.com" on the World Wide Web on Sept. 23 as an ad-supported site for community information and news, company executives announced Wednesday.
The site will leverage the content and promotional ability of The News, plus corporate allies Adelphia Communications Corp. and the Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages, News Executive Vice President Warren T. Colville said.
Buffalo.com, with its theme of "Everything Buffalo," will establish a community internet platform for information about business, civic, social and community activities in the Greater Buffalo area. The Buffalo News will be among the information sources contributing to the site, with virtually all of the newspaper's stories available on the day of publication.
Colville explained that other information will be available through Internet links to content partners and from Web information syndicates.
The News site will contribute to a trend of "destination" sites that combine Web staples and other data into one Internet location.
The so-called mega-sites that organize and tie together information from an array of sources are gaining ground on single-interest sites, according to a March 1999 report by e-commerce analyst Jupiter Communications in New York.
The News hopes buffalo.com -- with weather, community information, free e-mail, stock market data and sports, as well as national and local news -- will generate 6 million "page views" a month, Colville said, referring to an industry measure of viewership that counts the number of times a different page on a site is viewed.
The site is modeled on ones such as www.kansascity.com that offer a menu of community information choices instead of an electronic version of a newspaper's front page, Colville said. Headlines from The News will appear as part of the entry point, with full stories deeper in the site.
"But the News is only a small piece in this puzzle," Colville said.
"We're not going to make money on this for the foreseeable future," Colville explained. However, he noted The News risks erosion of its advertising business to Web-based competitors unless it joins the move to this new medium.
The "buffalo.com" domain was acquired by The News from a company in the community of Buffalo, Wyo., Colville said.