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MediaNews Group, the fourth largest newspaper publisher with titles such as The Denver Post and The San Jose Mercury News, has teamed up with TauMed to launch a video-centric health vertical. The vertical launches this month at four of MNG’s smaller papers. It will eventually be incorporated across the chain. Other local media partners are also being lined up.

TauMed, which is privately funded and has 12 employees, is the brainchild of Tauseef Bashir, a former executive with FAST Search and Transfer, the search company recently acquired by Microsoft. FAST’s influence is readily apparent in the service’s intent to make every action searchable. (MediaNews Group is also a FAST client.) “All the information is search driven,” says Bashir.

As with other health portals in the marketplace, the service isn’t focused on local information other than directory content featuring doctor and hospital search. More local content will come in a second phase, says Bashir. The local effort will be aided by the promotional, sales and editorial capabilities of the local syndication partners. Ratings and reviews are probably the core of the local experience, he notes. The site will also be mobile enabled.

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