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Newspapers Urged to Expand Content to Draw Ad Dollars

Newspapers, some of which have been rather timid about their Web ventures, may be waking up.

As evidence, we cite this statement issued by the San Diego Source, the Internet component of the San Diego Daily Transcript, the region's only business daily newspaper:

"Publishers, sales managers and Webmasters for the San Diego Source and its partner newspaper Web sites announced that the future of its online newspaper publications lies in expanding unique local content to increase banner advertising availability and to drive more traffic to the sites."

Just a few weeks ago, the Newspaper Association of America completed a study that showed a surprising number of top Web sites had nothing to do with newspapers. In fact, of the top 10 Web sites in terms of ad revenue, only one was operated by a newspaper (USA Today), according to D. Colin Phillips, publisher of Editor & Publisher, the newspaper trade mag.

"We are in the publishing business and our goal is to sell advertising," said Robert Loomis, chief operating officer for the San Diego Source. "To accomplish that goal The Source must redesign to meet the needs of both local and national online advertisers.

"What has struck home is the sheer mass of pages and information required to compete for Web advertising on a large scale. If a site wants to compete for advertising, it must increase its commitment to expanded content," he said.

During the month of January, the San Diego Source said it sold out its total 600,000 available page impressions.