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After months of talks and planning, the Mercury News and Zvents are officially announcing a partnership today where Zvents powers the Merc’s online events listings. It’s a pretty big deal for both companies. For the Merc, it streamlines its event listings process and, for the first time, allow users to submit events directly into its system. And for Zvents, it’s their first big media partnership launch. The first iteration of the partnership is here.

Media partnerships such as these are key to the Menlo Park start-up’s business model, and Zvents will try to use the Merc deal to leverage other partnerships. The company’s backed by NetService Ventures Group and Red Rock Ventures.

Now, the disclaimer: In my new role at the Merc, I (Mike) participated in several of the Zvents-Mercury News planning meetings and helped facilitate meetings with other events vendors. I had little to do with the actual implementation of the new service, though.

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