Bits and Bytes for May 6, 2004

Newspaper Publishers Acquire CrossMedia Services

Gannett, Knight Ridder and the Tribune Company have jointly acquired CrossMedia Services, a company that helps local advertisers translate traditionally print-based promotions online.

CrossMedia, whose clients include Home Depot, Staples, CVS and JC Penney, helps companies take sales circulars and catalogs online. The resulting ads can be browsed, sorted, filtered, and searched. Users can also mouse over an ad to get more information, or click on links.

The purchase, financial details of which weren’t disclosed, is clearly an attempt by the newspaper publishers to get their traditional retail advertisers to expand their relationship with the companies.

“Our online solutions complement the way consumers use the daily and Sunday newspapers to find ‘what’s on sale’ and other great values in their local markets,” said Brian Hand, CrossMedia Services’ chairman and chief executive officer. “The Web has become a huge resource for consumers who search online and then buy offline in their favorite local stores.”

Gannett, Knight Ridder and the Tribune Company are partners in other joint ventures that involve online classifieds, such as,, and

AskJeeves Closes Interactive Search Holdings Acquisition

Search firm Ask Jeeves Thursday closed its acquisition Interactive Search Holdings. The deal, valued at $343 million when it was announced, turned out to be worth $501 million based on Ask Jeeves’ closing price yesterday. The agreement is expected to make Ask Jeeves the seventh-largest domestic Web property, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

“We now have substantially more traffic and advertising inventory, which we believe will increase our value to advertisers and partners,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Ask Jeeves. “Additionally, consumers like to access information in different ways and we believe through our expanded portfolio of brands we will be in an even better position to meet those needs.”’s Trade Ad Campaign has begun a trade ad campaign that aims to capitalize on its election-year strength.

One ad’s headline asks, “Just how well do we attract the affluent, educated and influential during an election year?” then answers, “As great as is at attracting affluent, educated and influential users every day, we’re extraordinary at it during election years. Something to consider if that’s your target audience.”

“Our goal is to take advantage of our national strength at a time when politics is center stage,” said Caroline Little, CEO and publisher of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive.

The ads will run in the print and online versions of national advertising and media trade publications.

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