Media-Telecom Strategic Consultancy Snags Kelsey Group

BIA Financial Network (BIAfn) believes its acquisition of advertising research company The Kelsey Group will bring its customers a better view of local advertising markets and trends, including the fast-growing online sectors.

The Kelsey Group, based in Princeton, NJ, specializes in research, data and analysis on print and electronic Yellow Pages, local search, small-business marketing and local media. And, BIAfn, based in Chantilly, VA, provides financial and strategic advisory services to media, telecommunications, and technology businesses.

As part of its acquisition of The Kelsey Group, BIAfn created a new subsidiary, BIA Advisory Services. The Kelsey Group will operate within BIA Advisory Services under the supervision of The Kelsey Group’s current CEO, Neal Polachek. The Kelsey Group founder John Kelsey will oversee conference planning and execution.

In announcing the deal, BIAfn said the infusion of The Kelsey Group’s experts will help it bring “perspectives on the transition from traditional to new media platforms.”

Polachek said he doesn’t believe the acquisition will change the way The Kelsey Group’s staff operates because it is spread around the country in remote offices.

“We spent enough time to get to know the culture of the other organization and we believe that, at the end of the day, a lot of what makes a deal work or not work are the people,” said Polachek. “We got very comfortable that the kind of people working at BIA and kind that work at The Kelsey Group are very compatible.”

Polachek said the combination of The Kelsey Group and BIA positions the joint company “dead square in middle of the transition of legacy advertising dollars to online, new media ad dollars.” The company’s goal is to help its customers “navigate through” that transition, said Polachek.

In a statement, BIAfn CEO Tom Buono said The Kelsey Group’s ability to identify and forecast local market changes will help BIAfn extend its research and consulting services to a different segment of the media industry.

Polacheck had a similar opinion. “We will have almost a 360-degree view of the local advertising marketplace,” he said.”

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

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