Magazine article Information Today

NewsBank Acquires MediaStream Businesses from Knight Ridder

Magazine article Information Today

NewsBank Acquires MediaStream Businesses from Knight Ridder

Article excerpt

NewsBank has purchased several lines of business from MediaStream, a Knight Ridder (KR) company, including NewsLibrary, a searchable Web-based archive of over 75 newspapers; SAVE, an integrated text- and image-archiving system; and the MediaStream data-capture business. The complicated transaction comprises several agreements among Knight Ridder, Knight Ridder.com (the Internet subsidiary of KR), NewsBank, and NewsBank Media Services (a wholly owned subsidiary of NewsBank), for the assets purchase, archive hosting, and archive distribution. One agreement involves a multiyear deal with KnightRidder.com for NewsBank to host KR content (about 30 KR newspapers) on NewsLibrary and to distribute KR content into the library and education market.

The sale of assets to NewsBank closed in early January, but the companies held off making any formal announcement. Both MediaStream and NewsBank spent several weeks contacting their customers to inform them of the news first.

According to Chuck Palsho, president of NewsBank Media Services, Inc., the company is working closely with MediaStream to integrate the NewsLibrary and SAVE businesses with NewsBank over a period of several months. He told members of the Special Libraries Association news librarians NewsLib list: "Our top priority is to move the operations without any interruption of service. The only difference our customers should see is improvements as we merge our products and services. In fact, we are planning to enhance several areas of NewsLibrary during the transition period, such as an upgraded search engine, more e-commerce pricing packages, and enhanced customer service."

The NewsLibrary service from MediaStream provides the archives of over 75 newspapers (some of them KR-owned), plus some news wires. NewsLibrary lets the general public search for articles using any word that appears in the article. The full text of most articles can be purchased for $1.95, and the participating newspapers and MediaStream share the revenue. Many of the participating newspapers also make their archives available from their own Web sites.

The NewsBank service distributes a variety of archival content to the library and education market. Palsho also said that NewsBank launched a service for newspapers last year that is similar to NewsLibrary. NewsBank has been operating the sites for four publications--The San Antonio Express News, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, The Raleigh News & Observer, and Newsweek--using each publication's branding and look and feel. He stressed the clear synergies of combining the NewsBank and NewsLibrary services in working with newspapers. …

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