Newspaper Giants’ Group Hug For Online Ads

In an effort to divert some of the advertising revenue from the major Web portals, four of the nation’s largest newspaper companies have joined together to launch a coordinated advertising sales network.

The New York Times Company, Gannett, Hearst Corp. and the Tribune Company have invested in quadrantONE, an ad network that will pool together the inventory of each of the four companies’ various media holdings to offer a more attractive package for advertisers looking to reach a national audience.

“By aggregating the online audiences of quadrantONE’s participating media companies, large national advertisers can immediately access tens of millions of unique visitors in the country’s top markets,” quadrantONE’s interim CEO Dana Hayes said in a statement.

quadrantONE is designed to address the competitive problem that newspaper Web sites face in attracting major advertisers. If Procter & Gamble is launching a nationwide interactive campaign to sell Tide, for instance, it makes more sense to go to a single ad-placement network to reach a major portal than to broker individual deals with newspapers’ sites in all the major markets throughout the country.

[cob:Related_Articles]”For the first time, the media industry will be able to compete effectively for advertising dollars currently going to the national portals and others,” Jack Williams, president of Gannett Digital Ventures, said in a statement.

Yahoo and Google have both reached advertising partnerships with hundreds of newspapers. Using Google’s PrintAds service, companies can upload ads which Google places in the newspapers they select.

Across the industry, newspapers have been pummeled by declining circulations and the flight of ad dollars to online media. Earlier today, The New York Times announced that it was eliminating 100 newsroom jobs, following similar cuts made at newspapers around the country.

quadrantONE is built as a federated advertising portal to help reinvigorate the troubled industry. The four companies have made inventory available from 175 media Web sites, with more newspaper sites than any other category.

“Imagine placing the same ad across hundreds of local Web sites on the same day with one buy — that’s the power of this network,” Hayes said.

A spokesman for the venture said that advertisers would be able to customize their placements for local markets in a single campaign. quadrantONE said a full complement of behavioral targeting techniques employed by the major portals will be available.

Citing Nielsen figures, the four companies claim that their collected media properties see nearly 50 million unique visitors each month. quadrantONE is launching with sites in 27 of the 30 largest markets, with the hopes of more to come in the future.

Notably, McClatchy Newspapers, the third-largest newspaper company, is not on board. No McClatchy executive was available for comment by press time.

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