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The Dallas Morning News And Slingshot Announce Formation Of Social Media Agency, Speakeasy

DALLAS, Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  The Dallas Morning News and Slingshot LLC today announced the creation of  Speakeasy (, a joint venture between the two companies that is majority-owned by  The Dallas Morning News. Speakeasy is a social content marketing company that will conceive, develop, manage and execute turnkey social campaigns and promotions for both local and national brands.

Activities for the firm will include content creation, social media management and associated SEO activities, newsletter development and delivery, video creation and distribution and reputation management.

Jim Moroney, publisher and CEO of  The Dallas Morning News, was named Chairman of the Board of the newly created company, and Owen Hannay, founder of Slingshot, was named CEO.

Moroney said, "Speakeasy will leverage the assets of both partners. Slingshot has a track record of innovation in the digital realm and has demonstrated an ability to manage a superior service operation for the past seventeen years."

Moroney added, " The Dallas Morning News has many advertisers who look to us for marketing solutions and have been asking us to help them with their social media needs. Speakeasy is committed to meeting that trust by delivering superior results with a strong team and efficient operations."

Hannay said, "We have felt for a long time that, executionally, social media needs a publishing partner, and we can think of no better partner in that activity than  The Dallas Morning News."

Mike Orren, formerly the founder and president of Pegasus News, has been hired as the president of the organization. ( The Dallas Morning News acquired Pegasus News in July 2012 in an unrelated transaction.) Orren has also served in senior leadership roles at American Lawyer Media and  D Magazine and has served as a consultant on digital content and marketing to numerous media companies including and CBS Local. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences like BIA Kelsey, Online News Association and SXSW Interactive.

"Speakeasy uses great content to develop and maintain meaningful relationships between companies and their customers—relationships that benefit both sides and deliver real, measurable sales results that go beyond 'likes' and 'follows,'" said Orren. "We have built a launch team of experienced and award-winning editors, journalists and marketers who will focus more on communications and guerilla marketing than on the mere ability to use social platforms."

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