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BIA Financial Network Acquires The Kelsey Group

A media consultancy is getting deeper into the new media world. BIA Financial Network, a financial and strategic advisory firm serving the media and communications industries, has acquired The Kelsey Group a Princeton, N.J. -based analyst of print and electronic Yellow Pages, local search, small-business marketing and local media.

The combined company will offer a comprehensive view of local advertising markets as it impacts traditional media, new media, entertainment, technology and telecom. The acquisition will also further expand BIAfn's offerings and capabilities to its clients through The Kelsey Group's industry conferences on the impact of new media and the firm's global reach.

"The addition of The Kelsey Group to the BIAfn family enables us to meet a wider set of customer needs during a real time of transition in the media industry," said Tom Buono, president and CEO of BIAfn.

Under the agreement, The Kelsey Group, led by CEO Neal Polachek, will operate under a newly formed subsidiary, BIA Advisory Services LLC, which will also include BIA Consulting and BIA Research. John Kelsey, who founded The Kelsey Group in 1986 with his wife Pam, will oversee conference planning and execution while continuing his role in client relations and business, the companies said. BIA Advisory Services will retain The Kelsey Group's current offices and personnel across the country.

BIAfn said that with the acquisition of The Kelsey Group, it is positioned to strategically counsel its core clients into new technologies and mediums that will help expand their revenues and improve the industry landscape.

"It is critical for traditional media to embrace the Internet and other forms of new media, but there remains uncertainty over what direction to take," said Buono. "The Kelsey Group's expanded access to key research on local advertising and new media trends, in addition to their respected conferences addressing critical issues for surviving in this complicated new environment will create a rich solution set that will enhance how we help our clients navigate through the online land mines. It is a significant opportunity for growth that we all plan to capitalize on for everyone's benefit."