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LexisNexis to Distribute Congressional Quarterly Content
Posted On February 4, 2002
Two veteran information industry companies, Congressional Quarterly, Inc. (CQ; and LexisNexis Group (, have announced an alliance in which LexisNexis will become the exclusive online distribution partner for CQ's proprietary and highly regarded legislative content in the legal, government, and business markets. The agreement also provides for joint marketing of CQ and LexisNexis products across customer bases, and the anticipation of joint product development.

In addition, LexisNexis has agreed to discontinue LexisNexis Political Universe, its own legislative tracking service. According to a LexisNexis representative, the service will end March 1 and customers will be transitioned to either or CQ will fulfill remaining subscriptions of certain current Political Universe customers and will acquire the customer list from LexisNexis. The agreement does not affect the other LexisNexis Universe products, such as Congressional Universe for the academic market. The licensing agreement for CQ content does not extend to the public library or academic markets, where CQ will continue to sell its products through its own exclusive channels.

Under terms of the partnership, subscribers to the LexisNexis services will be able to access the following CQ legislative products:

  • CQ Weekly, the CQ flagship newsweekly on Congress
  • CQ Daily Monitor, CQ's daily tip sheet on congressional scheduling, news, and analysis
  • House Action Reports, the periodical that monitors all activity on the House floor
  • Bill Watch, the regularly updated profiles of major congressional legislation
  • Committee Votes, CQ's ongoing coverage of all committee and subcommittee legislative markups
  • Member Profiles, extensive biographical information on all members of Congress, also updated continually
The CQ content will be available as an add-on subscription option. LexisNexis subscribers will be able to select from among the CQ products or choose to get the entire package.

The addition of the CQ content is a very desirable extension to the LexisNexis service. The negotiations have been ongoing between the two companies and reportedly took 7 years to complete. Lisa Mitnick, a senior vice president at LexisNexis, called it the premier, "must-have" legislative content that rounds out the LexisNexis offerings. She noted that the CQ expertise is peerless, and combining its editorial excellence with the LexisNexis "one-stop shop" for news, business, and legal information would make it an unbeatable solution for customers. She said that, for information professionals, the access to the synthesis and analytical perspectives from CQ would be great for their constituencies.

CQ content will continue to be distributed electronically through OnCongress, the CQ Web platform that provides a legislative tracking capability to lobbyists, government officials, media outlets, and corporate executives. Officials at CQ and LexisNexis said OnCongress will continue to serve customers who track legislative activity closely, while research and other ad hoc informational needs will be served via LexisNexis. The OnCongress site has additional content from CQ and also content licensed from other sources, such as the Bulletin News Network (BNN). There are 23 publications in all. The site also provides a more specialized platform for accessing the information, with hot links, navigation, and browsing capabilities.

The CQ content has not been widely available online, outside of the site itself. According to Keith White, general manager of (and former vice president of product development at LexisNexis), CQ Weekly and Floor Votes are available on Bloomberg; EBSCO licenses CQ Weekly for the academic market. A few media outlets, like C-SPAN and MSNBC, receive several CQ news stories each week. But that's it. White noted that the increased access to CQ content comes at a good time for LexisNexis' business and legal customers. He said that because of the war on terrorism and the recession, businesses of all kinds have an increasing need for information about the workings of government. Of course, the alliance with LexisNexis also makes sense for CQ, which, as a smaller, privately owned company, doesn't have the marketing muscle to expand.

"This alliance represents a remarkable confluence of interests, talents, and business strengths," said Robert W. Merry, president and publisher of CQ. "CQ will continue as the premier provider of legislative tracking solutions via the Web, while the vaunted LexisNexis sales force will expand the reach of our highly touted information to other customers in Washington and beyond. It's a win-win deal all around, for both companies and for consumers of political and legislative information everywhere."

Bill Pardue, LexisNexis' president and CEO of Corporate and Federal Markets, added, "CQ's political and legislative expertise coupled with LexisNexis' experience renders this a powerful alliance combining top-of-the-line content with real market force on the Web.

"This alliance provides unique high-value content to our government, law firm, and corporate customers. We are very pleased to be partnering with an organization recognized as having the highest standards of excellence in providing political and legislative information. We even foresee the possibility of CQ eventually creating additional proprietary, value-added content for our markets."

CQ, founded in 1945 by Nelson Poynter, is owned by the Times Publishing Co. of St. Petersburg, Florida, publisher of the St. Petersburg Times and other publications, and is part of the Poynter Institute. CQ competed in legislative information publishing with Legislate in the 1980s and '90s and then purchased the company in 1998. CQ's flagship publication, CQ Weekly, provides an ongoing compendium of coverage and reference material on Congress, while its other publications serve the day-to-day needs of those who follow Congressional activity closely. Its Web platform, OnCongress, is the leading provider of legislative tracking information on Congress. CQ also publishes three lines of books: political science textbooks, library reference works, and governmental directories.

Paula J. Hane is a freelance writer and editor covering the library and information industries. She was formerly Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks.

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