Buyer Found for Crime Web Site


Tuesday, August 22nd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


NEW YORK (AP) — APBNews may have found a way out of bankruptcy.

The struggling crime news Web site has agreed to be purchased for $950,000 by SafetyTips.com, a site specializing in providing safety consulting and training. The sale must still be approved by a bankruptcy court.

APBNews burned through $27 million in cash from investors and sought protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws in early July, claiming $8 million in debt. APBNews fired most of its staff of 140 and has been operating on a shoestring budget since then.

Mark Sauter, the chief operating officer of APBNews, made the announcement about the sale in an e-mail distributed Monday morning to the ``Ladies and Gentlemen of the Skeleton Crew.'' The news was first reported on Inside.com, an online media news site.

Sauter and Marshall Davidson, the Web site's CEO, declined to comment.

The sale will be reviewed at a Sept. 1 hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. APBNews could still be sold to a higher bidder if one emerges. SafetyTips is backed by two online investors, Apollo Advisors and Rare Medium.

Rick Marchesano, advertising director for SafetyTips, said the company planned to ``try to preserve the journalistic integrity'' of APBNews and to keep it operating as a separate site while also integrating stories and other material from APBNews into its own site.

The travails of APBNews have been held up as an example of how difficult it is to make money provider news and other media on the Internet, even with top-quality content.

APBNews won numerous journalistic awards for its stories but still struggled to get revenues. Salon, a respected but money-losing online magazine, has laid off several staff and is slashing its expenses.

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On the Net:

APBNews site: http://www.apbnews.com