RENO – July 15, 2009 – World City Press (WCP) acquires the online news networks of AXcess News, Source Press and EU News Network, creating the largest independent online news network in North America.
The networks are comprised of AXcess News, World City Press’ flagship web news publication which had been publishing broad news online since 2002. The AXcess News Network grew from a single publication to a 92-city nationwide network in the seven years its been in business. Source Press, a 16-city online news network in Canada worked closely with AXcess News in syndicating stories between the publishers on a cooperative basis for nearly 4 years. Source Press is considered a key addition to the World City Press global network. EU News Network, which operates 16 city news sites in Ireland, Scotland and Great Britain, had also been syndicating stories for both Source Press and AXcess News for more than three years when it was acquired. EU News Network is seen as a strategic foothold into the European market by WCP.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though the acquisitions were made up of the web properties, a custom database and hosting solution as well as material advertising agreements and cross-border news syndicate. An extensive syndicate of more than 7,800 sites that carry the three networks’ stories was also included. Shares were issued in lieu of cash.
“In forming World City Press we looked to take advantage of the global economic situation affecting all members of the media when we decided to acquire these three online news networks and build upon on their core brands,” said Brandon Piddington, World City Press President.
“Economic conditions were such that AXcess News and its syndicate partners, Source Press and EUNN, were no longer able to survive on their own, so when WCP stepped up and offered to acquire our web properties, preserving our news organizations in the process, we felt it was a timely and positive step to take,” said Eric Stevenson, former Editor-in-Chief of AXcess News who joined WCP’s board and now serves as its Publishing Editor.
Piddington revealed that construction of a new content management system (CMS) was planned for the fourth quarter with upgrades to the network news sites already underway. WCP looks to replace the network sites and launch the new CMS in late December. The custom-built CMS will be capable of handling in excess of 7 million unique visitors per month in its first phase of development and upon completion, the news network will be the first geographic-based news publisher in North America capable of rolling out ad displays on a region-by-region basis alongside news published about related topics of interest with the flexibility of providing local campaigns on a city-by-city basis within any region in Canada or the United States.
“WCP saw our vision for a geographic-capable news network that could match tv, print and radio ad campaigns in any region of the United States and Canada as the advertising rolled out nationwide and took it one step further,” said Stevenson. “Brandon’s plans for expansion brought to the table the commitment needed to take our geographic approach to publishing online to the next level. World City Press was the right organization to partner with to fulfill those goals.”