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Amazing blast from the past alert! Our intrepid librarian, Sean O’Heir, just discovered EW.com's birth announcement, which ran in the magazine's January 9, 1998 edition. It is titled “Webbed Feat,” and it just gets better from there. The full text:

Download this, Net crawlers! The surf’s up on our revamped online edition.

Want to hear from director Paul Verhoeven what really happened during Sharon Stone’s infamous Basic Instinct scene? Care to listen to author Carl Hiaasen read from his best-seller Lucky You? Interested in taking the “Melrose Place and 90210 Morality Quiz”? You won’t find any of the above in the pages of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. You will find them on the Web pages of the new and improved EW ONLINE.

Type in www.ew.com and you’ll find a constantly updated supplement to the magazine: daily news stories, smart weekly commentary, charts, an interactive Critical Mass, and message boards that give you an opportunity to talk back to our staff. And magazine subscribers get free access to the exclusive “EW Special Edition” area; there, you’ll be treated to audio celeb interviews, a photo gallery, games, and—most handy of all—“The Complete EW,” an archive of reviews and articles from past issues. “While the magazine covers everything, we focus on the news item and review that deserves your attention on that day,” says EW ONLINE editor Michael Small. “That way, you can get your fix and get back to work.”

Of course, plenty of websites have sass—and not much else. But, says Daniel Okrent, editor of New Media for Time Inc., “with all the talent on the Web, there aren’t a lot of people who think like an editor.” After stints at PEOPLE and HotWired, Small does, and his online team brings professionalism and good humor to the task of creating a must-bookmark site.

In truth, EW ONLINE represents but the latest upgrade in our commitment to new media. In October 1994, we became one of the first national magazines to publish on the infant Web on Time Inc.’s just-launched PATHFINDER supersite. The subsequent three years have been pretty good for both the Web and this magazine, and we think you’ll agree that the new EW ONLINE is a perfect melding of messenger and medium. In other words—it clicks.

Melrose Place! Message boards! PATHFINDER, for Pete’s sake! And how come nobody calls it the Web anymore?

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