SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The online magazine plans to raise as much as $34 million in an initial public offering by auctioning its stock over the Internet.

Bids were being taken online Monday through W.R. Hambrecht + Co.'s OpenIPO system. Daiwa Securities America Inc. also is underwriting the IPO.

Salon is offering 2.5 million shares of common stock at $10.50 to $13.50 a share in the auction, which is expected to close June 14.

Under the auction, Investors can bid what they think is a fair price for a stake in Salon. When the auction closes, those with the highest bids will purchase shares _ but at the lowest winning bid.

Salon, with 74 employees and 1.2 million readers, hopes to become a premier Internet destination, attracting advertisers and business partners with its network of ten demographically-targeted Web sites and a variety of online communities.

Company executives wouldn't comment on the IPO Monday, citing federal rules against influencing the stock sale.

Some Internet content providers trying to attract premium audiences have struggled to make money. Microsoft's Slate magazine dropped its subscription fee in February, joining other publishers that failed to attract enough paying customers.

But many recent Internet IPOs have fared well. Last month, shares of iVillage, a Web site for women, tripled on their first day of trading, raising $88 million.

Salon Magazine changed its name to earlier this month after buying the domain name from a Texas hairdresser for an unannounced price. Before, Salon was stuck with the more prosaic, and many would-be readers were led to the wrong site in frustration.


Eds: The Web address for W.R. Hambrecht + Co.'s OpenIPO is