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Newspapers launch online ad network

Marketplace Staff Feb 15, 2008

Newspapers launch online ad network

Marketplace Staff Feb 15, 2008


Kai Ryssdal: Back to all the negative news about the economy for a second. It’s not just electronic media doing the reporting, y’know. Newspaper business pages aren’t exactly full of cheer either.

Then again, neither is the newspaper business. News has been moving online and taking advertisers with it.

This week, the Tribune Company, which owns the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, said it’s cutting 2 percent of its workforce. The New York Times is showing 100 newsroom employees the door.

But today four of this country’s top newspaper companies, included Times and Tribune, learned to stop worrying and love the Internet. They’ve gotten together and thrown their lot in with an online ad company called quadrantOne. Marketplace’s Dan Grech reports.

Dan Grech: quadrantOne will give advertisers a single place to buy ads in more than 100 newspaper Web sites owned by Gannett, Tribune, Hearst and The New York Times Company. The main Web sites for The New York Times and Gannett’s USA Today aren’t included in the deal. Still, quadrantOne includes Web sites in 27 of the top 30 markets.

Rick Edmonds is a media business analyst at the non-profit Poynter Institute.

Rick Edmonds: Newspapers do need the leverage of something big and of working together to get the industry competitive in this particular arena.

Newspapers are competing for the online ad dollar with Internet powerhouses Google, AOL and Microsoft. Yahoo created a similar consortium to direct ads to newspapers Web sites last year, though many big newspaper chains didn’t take part.

Jeff Gregory is CEO of marketing firm Brand Counsel. He says so far newspapers haven’t done well online, and this deal may be too little, too late.

Jeff Gregory: I’m not sure if they’ve just decided to get all four of the deck chairs on the Titanic in the same place, or if they really can keep things afloat.

Newspapers across the country are placing a new emphasis on their Internet business. The Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee recently hired editors because of their web expertise.

Craig Forman is executive vice president at Internet provider EarthLink. He says don’t count newspaper companies out yet.

Craig Forman: Newspapers have access to proprietary local content that’s very hard for online companies to create themselves. And they have brands that really resonate in local markets.

I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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