SALT LAKE TRIBUNE REPORT ON CLARK DEVELOPMENT SHUTDOWN

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Pat Clawson

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Jun 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/20/97
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FYI TO ALL CONCERNED ABOUT CLARK DEVELOPMENT:

Here¹s today¹s news report from the Salt Lake City Tribune about the demise
of Clark Development.

Pat Clawson
TeleGrafix Communications
========================================================================


Friday, June 20, 1997


Clark Development Is No More

BY LISA CARRICABURU
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
    A Murray company that once led the market for computer bulletin
board system (BBS) software has ceased operations without warning
customers or business associates.
    ``We closed our doors in an effort not to incur any more debt,''
Cory Robin, Clark Development Co. Inc. general manager, said Thursday.
``We are in the process of restructuring.''
    Robin said Clark's computer equipment and other physical assets
will be auctioned Saturday by Salt Lake City's TNT Auctions. Proceeds go
to Zions Bank, which held a lien on the property.
    He said Chief Executive Officer William ``Fred'' Clark is developing
a new business plan and trying to secure investors.
    ``We're doing what we can to avoid a bankruptcy filing,'' he said.
    Clark was out of the state Thursday and unavailable for comment,
Robin said.
    The company's status has been a recent topic of online chat
sessions. Users of Clark's PCBoard and MetaWorlds software have been
posting messages to BBS services such as alt.bbs.pcboard seeking
information.
    News that Clark has ceased operations surprised many, including one
customer who said she paid for software she never received.
    Sharon Miller of Portland, Ore., said she and her fiance three weeks
ago charged to a credit card nearly $200 in Clark software they have not
been able to download.
    Attempts to contact the company this week proved futile, she said.
Telephone calls to Clark went unanswered and online access to the company
was not functioning.
    ``It's frustrating,'' Miller said. ``All we want is the software we
paid for.''
    Robin said there is no way for customers to reach the company for now.
    ``We're not operational,'' he said. ``We're insolvent.''
    Pat Clawson, president and chief executive officer of Winchester,
Va.-based TeleGrafix Communications Inc., also has tried unsuccessfully to
contact Clark.
    He said TeleGrafix sold products to Clark, which he characterized as
a company that once held up to 30 percent of the market for BBS software.
Clawson said Fred Clark is considered an innovator who was ``a principal
creator of online communications.''
    Clawson said Clark's demise comes at a time of severe hardship for
all BBS companies as they struggle to adapt to the Internet. In 1994,
there were more than 80,000 BBS's, but today there are fewer than 25,000,
he said.
``[World Wide] Webmania has created another way to go online.''
    Clawson said Clark's MetaWorlds product combined BBS and Web server
capabilities in a way that could have carried the company into the
Internet age. The software had flaws, however, and its development took
longer than expected, he said.
    Steve Klingler, Clark's vice president and general manager until he
left the company in April, offered an assessment similar to Clawson's.
    Klingler said he left after he and Clark were unable to agree on
what was needed ``to get the company out of its rut.''
    ``Clark had a cool product without enough marketing dollars left to
tell the world about it,'' he said. ``I'm really disappointed.''
   

© Copyright 1997, The Salt Lake Tribune

Catlin

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Jun 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/22/97
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cla...@telegrafix.com (Pat Clawson) wrote:

>FYI TO ALL CONCERNED ABOUT CLARK DEVELOPMENT:
>
>Here¹s today¹s news report from the Salt Lake City Tribune about the demise
>of Clark Development.
>
>Pat Clawson
>TeleGrafix Communications
>========================================================================

Thanks for posting that, Pat. Now we all know the story and know it's
not just another rumor. It's one rumor I wish had not been true
though.

MaryLou

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