New Century Network Shuttered; 40 Lose Jobs

  |  March 11, 1998   |  Comments

Ya' gotta love the newspaper business, which was dragged kicking andscreaming into the electronic age as fat cat publishers finally began tosee Internet advertising as a threat to their bottom lines.

Ya' gotta love the newspaper business, which was dragged kicking and screaming into the electronic age as fat cat publishers finally began to see Internet advertising as a threat to their bottom lines.

When in doubt, form a committee, as the saying goes, so the titans of dead- tree journalism formed a consortium of major newspapers to deal with the matter. But now, less than two weeks after New Century Network abandoned its news function, cut its staff by a third and said it would focus on attracting advertisers, the whole operation has been shuttered.

About 40 people were put out of work. Why? "Not enough members felt strongly enough to keep it going," said board member Harry Chandler, director of new business development at The Los Angeles Times.

Well, 40 jobs are really nothing in an industry where a new CEO can come in and close an entire newspaper, as Times Mirror's Mark Willes did with New York Newsday.

But what went wrong at NCN? The idea of an online newspaper advertising network would certainly seem to have some appeal. Apparently one factor was the swiftness with which member newspapers, fearing for their advertising dollars, developed their own online initiatives. The official version: It became too difficult to find a unified strategy, NCN's board was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

NCN's members may still band together to seek advertisers, but there are no formal plans to continue that mission, Chandler said. "Each of us obviously is free to work any other ad network, but there is no group decision on that," he said.

In late February, NCN (the Web site was still functional as of yesterday) eliminated its 20-person editorial staff as it stopped displaying news on its NewsWorks Internet site, and said it would serve primarily as a search engine for about 140 affiliate newspapers online. The cutback was the second this year.

The nine member companies reportedly poured $27 million into the venture, formed in 1995, but Chandler would not comment on the investment.

The NCN partners were Advance Publications Inc., Cox Newspapers Inc., Gannett Co., The Hearst Corp., Knight Ridder, The New York Times Co., Times-Mirror Inc., Tribune Co. and The Washington Post Co. The Associated Press, while not a partner, has been a supplier to NewsWorks.

ClickZ Live New York What's New for 2015?
You spoke, we listened! ClickZ Live New York (Mar 30-Apr 1) is back with a brand new streamlined agenda. Don't miss the latest digital marketing tips, tricks and tools that will make you re-think your strategy and revolutionize your marketing campaigns. Super Saver Rates are available now. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ClickZ

Articles written by ClickZ's staff.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Lead Generation Specialist
      Lead Generation Specialist (The Oxford Club) - BaltimoreThe Oxford Club is seeking a talented writer/marketer to join our growing email lead-generation...
    • Health Marketing Editor
      Health Marketing Editor (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreCome flex your intellectual muscle as part of Agora, Inc’s (http://agora-inc.com/) legal team...
    • Technical Business Analyst
      Technical Business Analyst (OmniVista Health) - BaltimoreOmniVista Health is looking to add a Technical Business Analyst to our expanding team...