Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Enhancing Audiotex: Atlanta Journal-Constitution Developing a Selective Data-by-Phone Service That Can Be Tailored to Each Customer's Needs

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Enhancing Audiotex: Atlanta Journal-Constitution Developing a Selective Data-by-Phone Service That Can Be Tailored to Each Customer's Needs

Article excerpt

IN AN EFFORT to stay at the crest of current trends, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution will soon enhance the range of its audiotex services, while aiming for a diet of well-illustrated, concise, yet thorough news and features in the daily paper, according to the newspapers' new publisher, Dennis Berry.

Formerly president of the Journal-Constitution, Berry was appointed publisher by owner Cox Enterprises, which had promoted previous publisher Jay Smith to the post of executive vice president of Cox Newspapers.

Berry's remarks came during a panel discussion "Is Print Media Facing Extinction?" which was held as part of a two-day media/print-media seminar recently at Kennesaw State College in the northern Atlanta suburb of Kennesaw, Ga.

Berry said the newspapers are working on a new audiotex technology that will deliver preselected news and information to subscribers by phone, on days and at times they have requested. A daily wake-up call would be offered as part of the package.

"We are developing a selective data-by-phone service in which you will be able to receive a call that will be initiated by us to you at the time you tell us to," Berry revealed. "Let's just say you've told us there are five things you want to know as soon as you awake each morning, such as the weather, the score of the late Atlanta Braves game last night on the West Coast, plus what given stocks did yesterday.

"The information will come to you right there. You won't have to enter anything. You just have to answer the phone and try to be awake enough to comprehend [the information]," he added.

Berry gave no specific start-up date for this service, but added that the newspapers are exploring another option, working on technology that would enable home-delivery subscribers to configure which parts of the paper they get each day.

"To some small degree, it might be possible to design your newspaper. If you don't want sports, then you won't get sports," Berry said. …

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