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Hearst to launch wireless e-reader, potentially revolutionize print media

Darren Murph
02.27.09
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Hot on the heels of Amazon's highly anticipated Kindle 2 launch comes this: news that Hearst Corporation -- which publishes iconic magazines including Cosmopolitan and Esquire along with the San Francisco Chronicle -- will be launching its own wireless e-reader. While many may be quick to label this forthcoming device as a Kindle competitor, the concept behind this is far more elaborate than simply knocking Amazon from its perch. In an effort to "preserve the business model that has sustained newspapers and magazines" while moving forward with technology, Hearst is planning to ship a larger-than-usual reader (around the size of a standard sheet of paper), giving publishers (and advertisers, by extension) about the same amount of space as they're used to when pushing out e-articles. Reports suggest that the device -- which will do the monochrome thing until a color version debuts later -- could land as early as this year, with Hearst & Friends planning to sell them to publishers and "take a cut of the revenue derived from selling magazines and newspapers on these devices." No exaggeration here -- this may be the biggest news we've heard for print media in years, not to mention the promise of an all-new e-reader for gadget nerds to swoon over.

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