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Microsoft Co-Founder Backs SureFind

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Microsoft Co-Founder Backs SureFind

Article excerpt

The co-founder of a firm named "Company of the Year" by the Seattle Times Co. is putting his money behind a former Times reporter who has become a headache for his former employer.

Portland Trailblazers owner Paul Allen, who with Bill Gates rounded the hugely successful Microsoft Corp. of Redmond, Wash., has become a "major investor" in SureFind Classifieds By Telephone, according to SureFind president James E. Lalonde.

Started by Lalonde, Seattle-based SureFind lists classified automobile and property ads. Buyers with requests for specific types of vehicles or homes can hear the ads or request a free fax copy.

Special software searches SureFind's inventory to match listings with callers' requests. Callers selecting particular ads can be automatically connected with the advertiser. Another feature automatically calls or faxes an interested party when an ad for an appropriate vehicle or property is placed.

The jointly operated Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer refuse to run SureFind ads in their classified ad sections and will not allow its client real estate firms to mention SureFind or its telephone number in their ads (E&P, June 20).

Lalonde said the JOA unfairly uses its monopoly to deny SureFind effective ad positioning.

Times president H. Mason Size -more called Lalonde's charge a distortion of his company's classified policy, which places SureFind ads under service organizations rather than "Homes for Sale," as SureFind requested. …

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