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VNU details plans to cut 4,000 jobs

Media conglomerate VNU Group last month released details of a massive reorganization plan that includes cutting 4,000 jobs, or roughly 10% of the company's work force, in 2007. VNU, acquired by a consortium of private-equity firms last summer for $11 billion, said most of the job cuts will come from "non-client facing activities." The company said its aim is to present "one face" to its clients worldwide. VNU also plans to launch A2/M2, a growth initiative focused on digital media and personal video devices. VNU also confirmed that it had sold its European trade titles to private equity firm 3i. Financial terms were not disclosed, but reports pegged the price at roughly $417 million.

Vertical search revenue seen hitting $1B by 2009

Revenue from b-to-b vertical search engines will reach $1 billion by 2009, according to a white paper by Slack Barshinger and SearchChannel. The document, "The Emerging Opportunity in Vertical Search," analyzes 38 b-to-b vertical search engines serving two dozen industries, including agriculture and technology. Among the search engines studied were Business.com, SearchFinance, ThomasNet and Zibb.

Publicis to acquire Digitas for $1.3 billion

Publicis Groupe announced an agreement to acquire online ad agency Digitas Inc. in a deal valued at $1.3 billion in cash. Once the deal is complete, Digitas Chairman-CEO David Kenny will join the executive committee of Publicis and be put in charge of the interactive and digital strategy of Publicis Groupe.

Following the acquisition of Digitas, digital and interactive operations will represent approximately 15% of total revenue for Publicis Groupe. The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies.

CMP Technology parent UBM acquires OAG

United Business Media, parent company of CMP Technology, has acquired OAG in a cash deal worth $4.9 million. OAG provides consolidated passenger and cargo flight information on the aviation industry. It offers business travelers data files, Internet timetables, flight analysis tools, flight status displays and alert services for airports, airlines and travel-related Web sites. UBM bought OAG on behalf of its Commonwealth Business Media subsidiary.

Palm launches global advertising campaign

Palm Inc. has launched a $25 million global ad campaign to promote its Treo 680 smart phone. The campaign was developed by AKQA, San Francisco, and includes print, online, outdoor, mobile and viral marketing. The campaign also includes Palm's first use of SMS-activated kiosks, located at bus stops and window fronts in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. This will be AKQA's last campaign for Palm, which awarded its global advertising account to Y&R in October.

Atlas buys Accipiter in $30.3 million deal

Atlas, the technology business unit of aQuantive Inc., has acquired online advertising technology company Accipiter for $30.3 million in cash. Accipiter sells ad serving technology, including behavioral targeting and rich media products, to Web publishers in more than 20 countries.

Cygnus, Permission TV partner on video network

Cygnus Business Media has partnered with PermissionTV to create the Cygnus Video Network. The network will feature video channels from all the b-to-b media company's 15 markets, which include aviation and transportation; construction equipment; fire rescue and EMS; industrial and manufacturing; and technology. The first vertical on the video network is ForConstructionPros.com, which is supported by Cygnus' construction titles and sponsored by Caterpillar Inc.

RAB to report radio revenue quarterly

The Radio Advertising Bureau announced that starting this year it will publicly report radio revenue quarterly rather than monthly. However, monthly radio revenue will continue to be available on the RAB Web site (www.RAB.com). "We are in a fast-changing media environment, and too often short-term variances in business month-to-month have not provided a proper perspective on where radio [advertising] is headed," Jeff Haley, president-CEO, of RAB, said in a statement.

R.R. Donnelley to buy Perry Judd's Holdings

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. has agreed to buy Perry Judd's Holdings, a Waterloo, Wis.-based magazine and catalog printer, for $176 million. The all-cash deal is expected to close in the first quarter. Donnelley said Perry Judd's long- and short-run capabilities for producing business and consumer catalogs, as well as magazines, will complement its own strength in publishing, catalog and retail services.

Qwest Communications expands data solutions

Telecommunications giant Qwest Communications International announced it has expanded its Qwest Office service. Qwest Office Plus now includes additional hosting capabilities to enable small- and midsize businesses to build their own Web sites, support e-commerce services such as credit card processing and give businesses access to expanded data storage capacity and additional e-mail accounts.

Microsoft ad campaigns aimed at SMB market

Microsoft Corp. has launched new ad campaigns aimed at small and midsize businesses. An online ad campaign for Microsoft Office Live, developed using floating ad technology from Rovion, targets the SMB market. A separate campaign, called "ideaWins: The Ultimate Challenge," is a contest to identify the most creative small business in the country. The contest winner will receive $100,000 in business software and infrastructure.

Summit acquires Judy Diamond Associates

Summit Business Media has acquired Judy Diamond Associates, a provider of marketing database tools for the financial services industry, including insurance, brokerage, employee benefit and pension plan companies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hanley Wood adds `PRO AV' magazine

Construction publishing company Hanley Wood has acquired PRO AV and its Web site (www.proavmagazine.com) from Ascend Media. Financial terms were not disclosed. PRO AV, a 20,000 circulation monthly, targets professional AV integrators, contractors, consultants, resellers and end users.

Cenveo to buy Cadmus Communications

Cenveo has agreed to acquire Cadmus Communications Corp. in an all-cash deal. The total value of the transaction, including Cenveo's assumption of Cadmus' debt, is expected to be about $430 million. Cadmus provides content management and production services to scientific, technical and medical journal publishers and is also a major provider of specialty packaging and promotional printing services.

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