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Meredith Acquires Health Vertical Search Engine Healia
Jun 18, 2007 (10:06 AM EDT)


DES MOINES, Iowa and BELLEVUE, Wash., June 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Meredith Corporation http://www.healia.com , one of America's leading media and marketing companies, today announced the acquisition of Healia ( ), a consumer health search engine specializing in finding high quality and personalized health information online. Terms were not disclosed and the transaction will not have a material financial effect on Meredith.

"The demand for health information is booming, and is of particular interest to women," said Meredith Publishing Group President Jack Griffin. "We reach more than 75 million American women on a monthly basis through our publishing, broadcasting and online media brands and services. Providing access to trusted health information is a core component of our leading brands -- including Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, American Baby, Ladies' Home Journal, More and Fitness. The acquisition of Healia is an important step in our strategic initiatives to expand our reach in the women's health market and to provide content-focused services online."

As consumers make health an increasing priority in their lives, they turn to the Internet for further education. Eight million Americans use the Web each day to find information about their well-being, and an estimated 4 of 5 online consumers first use a general search engine to find health information. A winner of numerous industry awards, Healia provides proprietary, innovative search technology guiding health professionals and consumers to the highest quality and most personally relevant search results.

Vertical search is also a growing online advertising and marketing platform. Healia is well-positioned in that market, presenting consumers with a number of personalization filters for narrowing search results by gender, age, and racial/ethnic group, as well as contextual filters for consumers to focus their search for prevention, causes/risks, symptoms, diagnosis/tests, treatment or side effects. These capabilities provide marketers with unprecedented opportunities for demographic and contextual targeting of health consumers.

"Meredith's great brands, broad consumer reach and marketing expertise make it the perfect partner to establish Healia as the premier health search engine site," said Healia President and Founder Dr. Tom Eng, who will continue to lead Healia. "In the next several months, Healia will be launching additional tools and functionality to broaden its service offerings and to redefine health search as we know it."

In the coming months, the Healia technology will be integrated into Meredith's existing Web sites. In addition, Meredith and Healia will expand the functionality of Healia.com and will offer the technology through licensing and distribution agreements with select health organizations, consumer Web sites, employers and other premier partners.

This is Meredith's fourth acquisition bolstering the company's online services and capabilities in the last year. Previously, the company acquired online marketing service firms O'Grady Meyers, Genex and New Media Strategies. Additionally, the company has redesigned its flagship Web site -- Better Homes and Gardens.com -- and launched its first broadband video channel -- Better.tv. Next month, Meredith will launch a new parents portal -- Parents.com -- as well as its second broadband channel, Parents.tv.

"Our acquisition of Healia reflects our continuing focus on selectively acquiring and integrating new media businesses that add unique value to advertisers and consumers," said Meredith Chief Development Officer John Zieser. "We continue to identify and evaluate numerous opportunities for acquisitions, strategic investments and other relationships that expand our new media capabilities, as well as establish us as a leader in the health and wellness category."

Healia, which was represented by The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc., a New York-based investment bank that specializes in the media and information industries, will remain in the Seattle area.

ABOUT MEREDITH CORPORATION

Meredith ( http://www.meredith.com ) is one of the nation's leading media and marketing companies with businesses centering on magazine and book publishing, television broadcasting, integrated marketing, and interactive media. The Meredith Publishing Group features 25 subscription magazines -- including Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, Family Circle, Parents, American Baby, Fitness, and More -- and publishes more than 200 special interest publications under approximately 80 titles. Meredith owns 13 television stations, including properties in top-25 markets Atlanta, Phoenix, and Portland.

Meredith has more than 400 books in print and has established marketing relationships with some of America's leading companies through Meredith Integrated Marketing. Meredith's consumer database, which contains more than 85 million names, is one of the largest domestic databases among media companies and enables magazine and television advertisers to target marketing campaigns precisely. Additionally, Meredith has an extensive Internet presence that includes more than 30 Web sites and broadband channels. Meredith Hispanic Ventures publishes five Spanish-language titles, making Meredith the leading publisher serving Hispanic women in the United States.

ABOUT HEALIA INC.

Healia, Inc. ( http://www.healia.com ) is the creator of a proprietary, health-optimized search engine that uses patent-pending technology to generate high quality, highly targeted, and personalized results for consumers. Research and development of the Healia search engine was partly funded by the National Cancer Institute's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The Healia team is comprised of nationally recognized experts in eHealth, consumer health informatics, and emerging technologies.

CONTACT: Patrick Taylor of Meredith Corporation, +1-212-551-6984, Patrick.Taylor@Meredith.com

Web site: http://www.meredith.com/ http://www.healia.com/