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Cox buys ad network builder Adify

Cox Enterprises has purchased Adify for around $300 million. Adify, which is on track to hit $35M in revenues this year, is best known for powering the Washington Post’s local blog network. It also powers NBC WeatherPlus’ ad network. Cox Enterprises includes Cox Communications (cable), Cox Newspapers, Cox Television, Cox Radio and Cox Auto Trader — so clearly lots of opportunities to create interesting ad networks powered by Adify. In fact, we can only wonder if the Cox TV stations will launch local ad networks similar to the CBS O&Os earlier this year. Release below…

PRESS RELEASE — ATLANTA (April 29, 2008) — Cox Enterprises, Inc. today announced that its subsidiary Cox TMI, Inc. will acquire Adify Corporation. Adify will operate as a stand-alone company and will continue to be led by Russ Fradin, president and co-founder of Adify. Corporate headquarters for Adify will remain in San Bruno, Calif. with sales offices in New York, Alexandria, Va., London, Berlin and Singapore.

Adify is the premier technology and media company focused on vertical online advertising. The company’s comprehensive technology and services allow major media companies, venture-backed businesses and entrepreneurs to build and operate targeted ad networks that support their advertisers’ goals. Vertical advertising networks offer marketers the reach, targeting and quality that brand advertisers increasingly seek in the online advertising space. More than 100 premium ad networks currently operate on Adify’s technology platform.

“Adify’s commitment to customer service and innovation in powering vertical advertising networks for its customers has been key to its success and is a great match for Cox, a company that has served the advertising community for over a hundred years through its various media platforms,” said John Dyer, executive vice president of finance at Cox Enterprises. “As part of Cox, they will continue serving the media industry with their spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation and service. We’re confident the advertising community, web entrepreneurs and many of our own companies will directly benefit from our new association.”

“The entire Adify team is excited about the prospect of joining the Cox organization. Nothing is more important to us than our customers, and we are thrilled that Cox shares our long-term vision. Together we will continue to invest in products and services that will ensure the growth of our platform and our customers for years to come,” said Fradin. “We believe that Cox’s unique culture is a perfect home to enable our continued growth and mutual success. Their deep expertise in advertising, technology, sales and relationship management perfectly aligns with Adify’s high growth objectives. Our network also will add value to Cox’s brand and relationship with advertisers and customers.”

Both companies expect to complete the transaction in May 2008.

About Adify (www.adify.com)
Adify Corporation is changing the rules of Web advertising by creating brand networks anchored by leading media companies and entrepreneurs where brand advertisers unlock value from hard to reach audiences. Adify’s Build Your Own Network (BYON) technology capitalizes on the increasing fragmentation of the Internet, offering marketers the reach of a branded advertising network with the quality of a premier property buy. Through a unique mix of technology, expertise and key business services, Adify customers can rapidly define, assemble, merchandize and manage highly targeted ad networks with little or no upfront cost. Entrepreneurs and global media partners such as adChakra, Forbes, The Guardian, HotChalk, Houseblogs, Martha Stewart, NBC Universal, Reuters, Time Warner, The Washington Post Co. and Yardbarker use Adify’s solutions to extend their brands, increase their reach and grow their revenue. Adify was founded by the team that created Flycast Communications — the first successful direct-response online advertising solution — and is backed by blue-chip venture firms Venrock Associates and U.S. Venture Partners, as well as GE Commercial Finance, NBC Universal, Inc., and Time Warner Investments.

About Cox Enterprises (www.coxenterprises.com)
Cox Enterprises, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading media companies and providers of automotive services, with 2007 revenues of $15 billion and more than 83,000 employees. Major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications, Inc. (cable television distribution, telephone, high-speed Internet access, commercial telecommunications, advertising solutions and Travel Channel); Cox Newspapers, Inc. (newspapers, local and national direct mail advertising); Cox Television (television and television sales rep firms); Cox Radio, Inc. ([NYSE: CXR] broadcast radio stations and interactive web sites); Manheim, Inc. (vehicle auctions, repair and certification services and web-based technology products) and Cox Auto Trader (automotive publications and a majority stake in AutoTrader.com).

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