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Weekly News Digest

May 7, 2001 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Bright Station Changes Its Focus and Will Restructure

The board of Bright Station, PLC (formerly MAID, then Dialog, then Bright Station; http://www.brightstation.com) has announced that it is repositioning the company as a "pure play" knowledge management business through its Smartlogik subsidiary. The company will restructure and "rationalize" some of its e-commerce businesses, and will seek new funds to continue in the future. According to a press release, "The board has concluded that it is no longer feasible to continue its current rate of cash expenditure in support of all of its business initiatives notwithstanding their potential for value creation."

In addition, most of the current board will "stand down," including chairman Allen Thomas, founder and chief executive Dan Wagner, and finance director David Mattey. Then, it's intended that the operating board of Smartlogik, led by chairman David Jefferies and chief executive Stephen Hill would become members of the Bright Station board. According to the statement, "the board believes that Smartlogik is a company of significant potential and, if adequately funded, its management is capable of delivering substantial value for shareholders, particularly if free from any legacy issues associated with the current Bright Station structure."

Reduction on the e-commerce side of the company may include the disposal or closure of Sparza (e-commerce hosting) and Officeshopper (business supplies vendor) and a reduction in corporate overhead. The board has also received an expression of interest from Wagner to acquire certain assets and liabilities associated with the e-commerce businesses of the group. The precise terms of this proposal have not been announced.

The Smartlogik subsidiary (http://www.smartlogik.com) is a provider of search and categorization solutions that enable unstructured information to be presented with a high degree of precision and relevance. The Smartlogik solutions derive from Muscat search technology (now called muscatsearch) and InfoSort structure technologies (now renamed muscatstructure). Competitors to Smartlogik reportedly include Autonomy, Sopheon, and Verity.

Source: Bright Station, PLC



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