IQ News Bits

-USA Networks, New York, and Lycos, Waltham, Mass., last week announced plans to form the USA Lycos Interactive
Network. The arrangement calls for USA Network to own a majority share of the company and Lycos shareholders and other USA properties to hold the remaining portion. At press time, however, there were signs the deal might fail: CMGI, a major Lycos shareholder, was expressing reservations about voting in favor of the deal at least until the company’s share price strengthens.

-The Gay Financial Network, New York, and GAYBC Radio, Seattle, will produce the GFN Market Wrap, a daily financial radio show that will provide listeners with a Gay and Lesbian perspective on Wall Street. The 10-minute program is slated to launch March 1 and will be produced and hosted by GFN president Jeffrey Newman.
GAYBC Radio’s programming is distributed exclusively in RealAudio and is accessible on the Web at www.gaybc.com and through AOL at keyword: gaybc.

-Five major record labels–BMG, EMI, Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music–are joining with IBM to conduct a six-month market trial of IBM’s Electronic Music Management System, a new online digital music distribution system, in San Diego later this spring. EMMS will let PC users download full-length, near CD-quality albums onto their PCs. The delivery of music will be secured through encryption and digital watermarking, and the download can be made quickly through the broadband cable modem service available in the test market.

-The number of visitors to Super Bowl advertisers’ Web sites increased by 48 percent on Super Bowl Sunday compared to the prior Sunday, according to New York-based Media Metrix. The company also found the number of women who visited football Web sites increased 137 percent, while the number of men increased 50 percent on Super Bowl Sunday and Monday.

-Brilliant Digital Entertainment, Los Angeles, announced it is shipping the first product in the company’s toolset for creating and viewing streaming 3D animation. B3D-Minimize for Max is a plug-in for use with modeling and animation application 3D Studio Max, made by Kinetix, San Rafael, Calif., allowing it to output compressed, small files suitable for delivery over the Internet.