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PR Newswire buys US Newswire

Healthcare journalists provided with a more comprehensive source as PR Newswire expands its offering

PR Newswire, the 52-year-old news distribution firm, has acquired a smaller news distribution company, US Newswire, for $19m and an earnout of up to $4m.

New York City-based PR Newswire acquired Washington, DC-based US Newswire from Medialink Worldwide in a move designed to ìsignificantly expand its customer base in the government and public interest sectors, and gain improved distribution channels to reach media and online audiences,î the company said.

ìThe integration of this content will effectively ëclose the loopí for many reporters, such as those covering the drug industry, who will now receive news from the majority of the top pharmaceutical companies and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from one source,î David Armon, chief operating officer of PR Newswire, said in a statement.

US Newswire vice president of Sales & Marketing Communications, Brian Taylor, will be in charge of the integration. US Newswire co-founder, William McCarren, will not join PR Newswire, but will instead take on a new role within Medialink.

US Newswire specializes in working with governmental agencies, public interest groups, not-for-profit organizations, civic groups, unions, colleges and universities, cultural organizations, research organizations, political organizations and foreign embassies. It transmits news for thousands of organizations, including healthcare-related clients such as the FDA and the Mayo Clinic. The company was founded in 1986 and was bought by Medialink in 1999.

The firm distributes press releases and related materials by an electronic wire service, as well as broadcast fax, email, satellite and a range of internet-based news delivery services. It has recently launched two new services: News Unfiltered, a delivery mechanism that provides direct feeds to bloggers around the world, and MediaVision, a virtual real-time video news monitoring service that provides television news clips via the internet immediately after they are originally broadcast.

PR Newswire said it would build on the legacy of US Newswire by adding new products and new technologies. The company noted that the acquisition of US Newswire continues its trend of expanding its public interest business over the past decade, working with institutions such as the World Health Organization. It added that it intends to make more acquisitions in the near future.

Medialink said it would use the money from the sale of US Newswire to fully develop its global Teletrax video-tracking service.

30th September 2008

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