McClatchy Preps Ad Optimization Program For All Local Markets By Year’s End

Over the past few months, McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) Company chairman and CEO Gary Pruitt has taken a lot of opportunities to assert his belief in the online ad-support model over deriving revenues from paywalls. It’s not just blind faith that’s driving Pruitt’s views; he thinks that McClatchy, which is dominant in many of its 29 local markets, can manage its ad buys better than the competition. He hopes to give the company an additional advantage by expanding the use of a program by software provider Webvisible that promises to make its ads more “discoverable” by online readers.

Specifically, McClatchy says using Webvisible’s system makes it more likely for online readers to find ads placed across all McClatchy platforms including newspaper listings and its papers’ PC and mobile websites, as well as through searches.

So far, McClatchy claims that ad sales in March were five times in the markets where it tested the Webvisible service: Kansas City, MO., Tacoma, WA., and Fresno, CA. Of course, last March the fallout from the previous fall’s global financial meltdown was intensifying, so this past month was already primed for a perceptible uplift. But with newspapers still mired what remains a soft — if less worse — ad market, it makes some sense for McClatchy to do whatever it can to build up sales.

In addition to the initial test markets, McClatchy just rolled out Webvisible program Anchorage, Alaska and Charlotte, N.C. The Miami and home base of Sacramento are up next. The Webvisible rollout is slated to be completed by the end of this year, McClatchy said. Release