Real Media, KOZ, CLBN Land Integrated Deal with Citadel Communications

Citadel Communications, which operates nearly 200 radio stations across the country, is teaming with three Internet companies in a deal that will bring its stations online, and attempt to monetize them through graphic ads and streaming audio ads.

“We feel that the two mediums work very well together,” said Bill Perrault, vice president of new media for Citadel Broadcasting.

Under the agreement, KOZ is building Web sites with e-commerce and community capabilities for 108 Citadel stations, and Real Media will sell ads across the network. Coollink Broadcast Network (CLBN) will serve and sell ads on some streaming media feeds of stations’ programming. Local advertising reps will also be able to sell packages that include on-air spots and Internet advertising.

“This alliance breaks new ground in the local online advertising market. For the first time, marketers will be able to buy national, regional, and local online and on-air advertising through a single point of contact,” said KOZ chief executive officer Linda McCutcheon.

KOZ, which was formed through the union of and Internet Tradeline, and Real Media have both specialized in local applications of the Internet. KOZ helped local publishers build communities around their publications, Internet Tradeline assisted small businesses in bringing their businesses online, and Real Media has served and sold ads for local newspapers and other traditional publishers.

The deal is an example of how radio and television broadcasters are attempting to use the Internet to generate incremental revenue streams. The development of technology such as that produced by CLBN is speeding that effort. The company’s product allows streaming advertisements to be inserted into the audio stream of the radio broadcast, in place of the station breaks that on-air listeners would hear. Those streaming ads can also be targeted to the demographic of the particular listener logged into the radio station Web site.

“The at-work audience is an important demographic for radio broadcasters and CLBN reaches these valuable consumers right at their desks,” said CLBN president Grant Wynn.

“From an advertising standpoint, CLBN has developed a new, technologically advanced method of reaching these Internet users. For the first time, our broadcast solution gives consumers the ability to interact in real time with advertising and promotions tailored to their liking and allows businesses to better target and reach their strategic markets.”

KOZ has been working to get the stations’ sites online for the past several months. In the month of August, the Citadel network attracted 6.5 million pageviews from 250,000 unique users, according to internal figures.

Citadel has lately been gobbling up stations from other radio companies like Liggett Broadcasting, Broadcasting Partners, Dick Broadcasting, and Bloomington Broadcasting, raising the number of stations under its control. The stations mostly serve mid-sized markets.

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