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Yahoo's news wants to be heard

In its continuing attempt to be all things to all Net surfers, Yahoo unveils an audio news feature in its service.

    In its continuing attempt to be all things to all Net surfers, Yahoo (YHOO) unveiled today an audio news feature in its service.

    The company, which has been working hard to be much more than just a means of retrieving information, has teamed up with two outside companies to provide users of Yahoo's news areas with complete audio broadcasts of the news reports.

    Yahoo has been on a rampage in the last month, expanding its business model in the hopes of cementing its market lead in the search engine sector. It has been striking up content partnerships with major players and announced last week that it plans to buy Internet directory Four11 for $92 million in stock.

    Denver-based broadcast producer Westwind will create the broadcasts throughout the day using a custom software and hardware system. It then will send the feed to Internet broadcasting company Activate, which transmits the audio version of the news to Yahoo on its "Active Broadcasting Network."

    "In this instance, it is a very positive and beneficial relationship for Yahoo," said Chris Maskill of Activate. "[The deal] gives them a voice with a Yahoo brand, and they didn't have to invest heavily to do it."

    Yahoo News offers daily news in business, technology, sports, entertainment, politics, health, and weather.

    "It is an addition we welcome, with listeners responding positively to professional, accurate audio reports on demand," said Yahoo senior producer John Briggs in a statement.

    Users can access the audio version of Yahoo News 24 hours a day using RealAudio software.