LIN Acquires HYFN, Diversifies Into Digital Agency Services

LIN Media has become the latest big publisher to diversify into digital agency services, announcing a deal late Friday to acquire HYFN, a full-service digital agency with offices in Los Angeles and New York. The deal, which was done by Providence, RI-based LIN TV Corp., comes as LIN expands its digital marketing offerings and follows other big publishers such as Meredith and Hearst into the digital agency business.
 
Terms were not disclosed, but HYFN was founded in 2000 and works for a wide range of mid-size, Fortune 500 and global clients, ranging from Coca-Cola Co. to Google. The agency operates its own proprietary social media management system, HYFN8, and is a member of Facebook’s elite Preferred Marketing Developer program.
 
The deal is “part of our continued investment to build our digital media ecosystem in a strategic way that drives synergies and positions us as … (a) one-stop-shop for all marketing needs,” stated Vincent Sadusky, LIN CEO.
 
LIN operates a slew of TV stations and has a presence in 23 markets. It owns the CBS outlets in Portland, Providence and Birmingham. The Portland and Birmingham stations came via an acquisition from New Vision last year.
 
The deal is the latest by a big media sales organization to diversify into digital agency services and follows Hearst's 2010 acquisition of iCrossing, and a feeding frenzy of digital services shops by Meredith starting in 2006 that have become the basis for its Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM) group.
 
“The demand for robust social and mobile marketing solutions that break through the clutter continues to grow at a rapid pace,” Robb Richter, senior vice president digital at LIN, stated. “We've been extremely impressed with HYFN’s digital capabilities, business model and the strength of their management team. There are important competitive advantages that result from having the agency’s creative talent in the same room as their engineers.”

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