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Media experts Merrill Brown, Andie Rhyins join MedCity Media board

MedCity Media today announced the appointment of two new members to its board of directors: Merrill Brown and Andie Rhyins. Brown was the founding Editor in Chief of MSNBC.com, named to the position in August 1996 after serving as acting managing editor for the July launch of the service. During his tenure, the fledgling company […]

MedCity Media today announced the appointment of two new members to its board of directors: Merrill Brown and Andie Rhyins.

Brown was the founding Editor in Chief of MSNBC.com, named to the position in August 1996 after serving as acting managing editor for the July launch of the service. During his tenure, the fledgling company grew to become one of the most visited news offerings on the Web and maintained a position as the No. 1 online news provider. Brown was also one of the initial strategists responsible for creating the Courtroom Television Network (Court TV).

Rhyins was most recently the publisher of VentureBeat, a leading media brand on technology innovation for forward-thinking business executives. She has spent years in innovative media outlets as a consultant and also serving in roles such as the publisher at InfoWorld Media Group and as a vice president at Red Herring.

“MedCity Media is so fortunate to add two experienced and innovative new media business leaders to its board,” said Chris Seper, president and founder of MedCity Media. “Both Merrill and Andie have been where we are heading. They make MedCity Media stronger and even more capable of capitalizing on every opportunity as we continue our rapid growth. Having board members on each coast will also increase the opportunities for MedCity Media. ”

MedCity Media has grown from a two-person startup in Cleveland to an angel-funded new media company in three markets. The company, which publishes MedCityNews.com, serves the everyone’s-a-publisher world of modern media by providing organizations with a wide variety of custom health content products, as well as reusable health business content. It also offers access to a valuable audience of healthcare stakeholders through online platforms like MedCityNews.com.

In two years, the company has opened offices in three major medical hubs: Cleveland, Minnesota’s Twin Cities and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. In January, it closed an angel round with JumpStart Inc., Hatch Partners and other private investors providing the funding. Seper said the company is planning expansion into other geographic markets later this year.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the MedCity team,” Brown said. “They’re doing great work in their first markets, and in Chris Seper MedCity has a dedicated, creative CEO. The company has the opportunity to build an important business, one that will serve the information needs of both health professionals and consumers.”

Rhyins said: “MedCity News is taking a very innovative, fresh approach to online content. They’re exploring new business models and are on the forefront of where real ‘next generation’ media companies are going. I’m thrilled to be involved!”

Brown (based in New York) is the founder and principal of MMB Media LLC, which provides clients with management and strategy consulting, corporate, and editorial and program development, business analysis and marketing services. Brown is also Senior Advisor to MESA, a New York strategic and financial advisory firm, and served from 2005 through December 2007 as National Editorial Director of News for the 21st Century: Incubators of New Ideas (News 21), part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education.

Brown, a member of numerous boards and advisory groups for media companies, foundations and financial firms, served as advisor and the Chairman of the Board of NowPublic, one of the world’s leading citizen journalism companies. NowPublic was sold to Examiner.com in 2009. Brown served as Senior Strategist for Journalism Online, the startup online publishing subscription services company founded by Steven Brill, Gordon Crovitz and Leo Hindery. Journalism Online was recently acquired by RR Donnelley. Prior to founding MMB Media, Brown served as Senior Vice President, RealNetworks’ RealOne Services and was responsible for all facets of the RealOne programming business. Prior to joining MSNBC in May 1996, Brown was a media and communications consultant whose work included strategic development work at Time Inc., NBC, U S West and a score of other media ventures.

Rhyins, based in California, currently serves as principal of her own consulting firm, Growth Acceleration Strategies, providing growth strategy and monetization consulting services for clients such as MatterNetwork.com, a vertical ad network serving the sustainability and cleantech market and AppNation, a conference and media company for the burgeoning app economy. She previously was senior vice president and publisher at VentureBeat, leading business operations, advertising, conferences, strategic planning and business development. Rhyins has spent more than 20 years in publishing, and more than a decade working with various emerging internet and media companies.

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