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Yahoo Adds 17 New Members To Newspaper Consortium

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Although the Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Newspaper Consortium is facing growing challenges, local papers are still finding its ad partnership offering attractive. The AP reports that Yahoo has added 17 new members to the consortium, including The Columbus Dispatch. Since starting with seven members last November 20, there are now 415 dailies and 140 participating in Yahoo’s program. Except for the Dispatch, the other 16 papers are owned by the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) Co., though the Times itself is not a participant.

As we noted last month, the Tribune (NYSE: TRB) Company, Gannett, (NYSE: GCI) Hearst, MediaNews Group and Cox Newspapers are considering forming a separate online newspaper ad-sharing network, through the latter three are also currently members of Yahoo’s consortium. The AP piece notes that the Washington Post (NYSE: WPO) Company and NYTCO are also looking at possible combinations with other papers, though the Times appears more reluctant.

In terms of how successful the consortium is, Yahoo remains reluctant to offer specifics, though one member at least, Cox Newspapers, which has 17 newspapers aligned with Yahoo, did say that market share for its Austin American-Statesman is at 40 percent – a 19 percent gain from last year.

In addition to aligning its members’ online classified job listings with Yahoo’s HotJobs site, as well as content sharing on Yahoo’s portal and use of the company’s search functions, sometime next year members will also be able to avail themselves a new ad serving functions.