Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Media Firms to Unveil Joint Venture for Digital Devices

Four major magazine publishers and News Corp. are set to unveil a joint venture to prepare print publications for a new generation of electronic readers and other digital devices, as media companies team up to tackle vexing industry issues.

The new company is expected to be announced Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter. It will be jointly owned by News Corp., Time Warner Inc.'s Time Inc., Condé Nast Publications Inc., Hearst Corp. and Meredith Corp.

News Corp. owns Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

The aim is to create a common set of technology standards for how magazines and other publications look on e-readers and other digital devices, some of which haven't been invented yet. The participants also want to ensure they have a common standard for advertising and a digital "store" through which consumers can buy multiple publishers' titles, according to people familiar with the matter.

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