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Mediapassage.com, Broadcastspots.com Merge

In the first merger of what's become a crowded online media marketplace space, Mediapassage.com Inc. , which specializes in print media, joined forces this week with broadcastspots.com , which handles broadcast media.

The new partners said the merger agreement means media buyers will now be able to execute the whole media planning and purchasing process -- from obtaining market data to media selection, purchasing, and payment -- via a single online resource.

The new entity will, in some ways, compete with BuyMedia.com, OneMediaPlace.com and AdOutlet.com. These are just a few of the players hoping to use the Internet to make media buying and selling more efficient.

"In the very short time it will take to technically marry broadcastspots.coms broadcast planning and buying capabilities with mediapassage.coms back-office functions, we will achieve for broadcast media buying what mediapassage.com has delivered for print," said Jeffrey Trumper, the president of broadcastspots.com.

"This merger clearly sets our company apart from the crowd of 'hopefuls,' and provides buyers with a totally functional end-to-end system."

The partners said media buyers will be able to view rate cards, access and purchase available inventory, and request proposals from a selection of more than 7,000 newspapers, 10,000 radio stations, 9,000 consumer and trade magazines, and 1,200 TV stations.

The new entity, which expects to execute (plan, place, bill and pay) over $500 million in U.S. media during 2000, will be led by Jeffrey Trumper, the president of broadcastspots.com, and Gilbert Scherer, who will remain chairman and chief executive officer of MediaPassage.com Inc.