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@ UBS Media Week: As Newspapers Struggle, Appreciation Flows To Online Partners Like CareerBuilder

Classified ads continue to be battered online and off, hence, newspaper companies have been singing the praises of their online partners this week at the UBS Global Media and Communications (PDF) conference. Earlier on Wednesday, Gannett (NYSE: GCI) praised CareerBuilder for supplying 80 percent of its interactive revenues for Q4; then, this afternoon, Media General (NYSE: MEG) and E.W. Scripps (NYSE: SSP) positively gushed about the Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Newspaper Consortium. And Yahoo’s full roll out of its ad delivery and targeting system APT is one of the few things the companies are looking to next year for.

Thanks, Yahoo: Reid Ashe, EVP/COO, said the Richmond, VA-based Media Gen expects to realize $7 million from its partnership with Yahoo Hot Jobs by the end of this year. Separately, Media Gen’s ability to sell targeted ads in four markets through Yahoo netted over the publisher about $1 million. As a result, local online display ads are up 40 percent year-to-date — a growth rate that has become quite rare in online advertising these days. Overall, Yahoo classified currently makes up 15 percent of total revs. It will begin setting up ad targeting with Yahoo’s APT through its own sites in April. Still, Yahoo isn’t the only game in town, as Media Gen is also upselling ads on Zillow in 13 markets, and will create a co-branded real estate site — similar to its deal with Hot Jobs — next year. While that sounds well and good, the companies are nevertheless nervous about how the recession will ultimately impact these programs, not to mention the chaos currently engulfing Yahoo.

More after the jump

Making history: As an early participant in the Yahoo Newspaper Consortium, Rich Boehne, E.W. Scripps’ president and CEO, was positively rhapsodic about Yahoo. “The newspaper consortium represents the best example of the newspaper industry coming together in its history. About 20 years from now, we’ll look back on the formation of the newspaper consortium as a turning point for newspapers. It will serve as a model for other kinds of consolidation of costs.” Boehne added that he would like to see local TV station heads form a similar collaborative effort to get video and content to mobile. “You need a Yahoo-like consortium structure to get everyone to agree to a single platform.” As for APT, Tim Stautberg, the company’s CFO, said E.W. Scripps is still testing the service and expects to will be rolled out across all its papers by February.

Photo Credit: Alex Barth

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