The three big newspaper companies Gannett, Tribune and McClatchy have a history of working together in the online arena (well, Knight Ridder was the third one before MClatchy bought it), buying online classified companies and investing in them. So this is not as much of a leap as a page one WSJ story makes it out to be. The three will start offering joint buys across their networks, in an effort to get big ticket advertisers who do not want to negotiate with individual newspapers, reports the story.
The joint effort, code-named “Open Network”, with each contributing 10% of their online inventory space to the network….they hope to announce something early this year, although the deal isn’t finalized.
This effort has competition from the recent deal between Yahoo and rival group of newspapers led by Hearst and MediaNews, to sell online recruiting classifieds, and is finalizing a deal to develop its own national ad-sales network.
Both sides concede that it would be better for the newspaper industry to have a single effort, but they have competing efforts in online classified ads, making cooperation in display advertising difficult, the story says. The Yahoo-led group still hopes Gannett, McClatchy and Tribune will join its consortium instead of striking out on their own. “We’re all struggling to get our fair share of national advertising revenues, and this partnership with Yahoo would go a long way toward achieving that goal,” said Lincoln Millstein, SVP at Hearst Newspapers.
— <a href="http://www.paidcontent.org/entry/googles-print-ad-auction-ending-next-month-plans-for-expansion" title="Google