Cox Interactive, LookSmart Launch Local Search Engine Network

Cox Interactive Media (CIMedia), which operates a network of city sites, and search service LookSmart are launching a local search engine network for the top 65 markets in the United States.

Advertisers can now penetrate CIMedia’s network of 25 sites, along with 40 other top U.S. markets, through a single source, the companies said.

“Our research consistently indicates that consumers want a local search engine to navigate through the exploding number of local Web sites in markets where they live,” said Peter Winter, president of CIMedia. “LookSmart, with its unique, easy-to-use interface and attention to editorial excellence, emerged as the best choice.”

“Complementing CIMedia’s 25 major markets with a local LookSmart Web directory and search engine for the remaining top 40 markets in the U.S. is a natural step in the evolution of the Internet marketplace,” said Evan Thornley, LookSmart CEO.

In related news, CIMedia announced a series of distribution partnerships and programming initiatives with AutoConnect for car buying, BottomDollar.com for comparison shopping, iName, offering free, personalized, permanent email addresses, REALTOR.COM for home ads, TalkCity for personal Web page building and enhanced chat and Thomson Investors Network. No financial details were disclosed.

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