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Former NPR CEO Ken Stern Launches Palisades Media Ventures to Provide Public Affairs Programming for Digital and Television Audiences


June 9, 2011 - WASHINGTON, DC

Palisades Media Ventures (PMV) today announced its formal business launch and the introduction of its new model of creating and funding high quality public affairs video content for digital and television platforms as part of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).

PMV develops and produces news, public affairs and thought leadership video and interactive content and has development relationships with many leading news, broadcast and digital content organizations. Described as "A Next Generation Public Affairs Studio," PMV works closely with major sponsors and media outlets, playing the crucial role of connecting important ideas to funding resources.

PMV is headed by co-founder and president Ken Stern, the former CEO of National Public Radio. During his nine-year tenure at NPR, which spanned roles both as CEO and COO, its radio audience more than doubled, from under 13 million weekly listeners to more than 26 million, while revenues rose to $210 million from $75 million.

"As the American public moves to a more visual vocabulary, there is a tremendous need and opportunity across multiple platforms for innovative high quality public affairs video content," said Stern. "But the vast majority of media companies haven't figured out how to create and fund this type of content. That's where PMV comes in, to create new ideas and resources to fund a new generation of vital public affairs content for the digital age."

"We are thrilled about the launch of Palisades Media Ventures," said Howard Paster, EVP, Public Relations and Public Affairs at WPP. "Given the track record of Ken Stern and the PMV team in developing high-quality news and public affairs, we believe that PMV's sponsorship model will rapidly expand the marketplace for such content."

In advance of its launch, PMV collaborated with Microsoft and The Atlantic in February of 2011 to produce a live and interactive town hall forum held at the Newseum in Washington D.C. The project, which involved extensive print and video coverage on jobs and the economy of the future, was broadcast live on the web site of The Atlantic.

While at NPR, Stern was responsible for launching its world-class digital efforts, which included two satellite channels, mobile and podcast services and NPR Music, along with the successful expansion of NPR.org. During a period of significant retrenchment and downsizing at major news outlets, Stern led the dramatic expansion of NPR News, both domestically and abroad, and its evolution as a key daily news source to tens of millions of people.

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