AP ends Medialink VNR exclusive deal, partners with PRN and Orbis

NEW YORK: The Associated Press and Medialink have ended their exclusive VNR distribution agreement, allowing PR Newswire and partner Orbis Broadcast Group to affiliate with the news-gathering giant.

NEW YORK: The Associated Press and Medialink have ended their exclusive VNR distribution agreement, allowing PR Newswire and partner Orbis Broadcast Group to affiliate with the news-gathering giant.

NEW YORK: The Associated Press and Medialink have ended their

exclusive VNR distribution agreement, allowing PR Newswire and partner

Orbis Broadcast Group to affiliate with the news-gathering giant.



Under the terms of the old arrangement, Medialink enjoyed the exclusive

right to transmit notifications of VNRs and other news advisories on the

AP’s proprietary AP Express Network, which reaches approximately 800 TV

newsrooms. Now, however, PRN and Orbis will be allowed to do the

same.



’We started actively speaking to AP when it became clear that many of

our clients were putting video with their news releases,’ said PRN VP of

sales David Armon, who said the agreement was formalized at the end of

November.



Though Medialink will continue to distribute VNR notification via the AP

Express (and has expanded its relationship with the company to include

audio news distribution), signs point to a chill in the Medialink/AP

relationship.



’We are always looking for ways to innovate,’ said Medialink EVP and

head of the company’s US operations Mark Manoff. ’But we didn’t want to

be tied to a wire service which is effective but not set up for the 21st

century.’



Manoff did not say which party initiated the end of the exclusive

AP/Medialink arrangement, and phone calls to AP marketing executives had

not been returned as of press time.



Manoff said the move was motivated by a desire to free up extra money

for re-investment in the company’s own service offerings, but declined

to give further details. The Nasdaq-listed Medialink is said to be

reallocating funds in order to expand relationships with online news

sites, and has set up its own e-mail news notification system.



The expanded Medialink/AP audio distribution arrangement allows

Medialink to deliver audio news releases and reports to radio stations

that subscribe to two Internet-delivered AP audio feeds, AP PrimeCuts

(which distributes breaking news bulletins) and AP SoundBank (an archive

of sound bites and recent radio news stories).



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