Chicago Sun-Times Forges Alliance With Monster

The Chicago Sun-Times this week became the latest newspaper company to forge an alliance with Monster in an attempt to stem the loss of revenue from classified ads to the Web.

Parent company The Sun Times News Group will launch co-branded Web sites with Monster for the Sun Times and 70 other local publications, giving its advertisers access to more job searchers through Monster’s national database, and giving Monster advertisers greater penetration into local Chicago markets. Chicago-area residents looking for jobs will also now have access to Monster’s powerful search tools.

The deal allows the Sun-Times to “retain our localness, because we are the paper of record for the 300 communities we reach with our 70-plus mastheads,” Barbara Swanson, group vice president, advertising and marketing, for the Sun-Times News Group, said. “But now we will also supply employers with the wonderful recruiting tools that Monster has, such as resume search and matching and things of that sort.”

The Sun-Times/Monster site is expected to reach an audience of more than 3 million unique visitors a month, while the sites for all the publications combined are expected to reach more than 4 million readers weekly in print and online.

Swanson declined to say how Monster and the Sun-Times will split revenue from the job ads, or whether employers will now pay more to place them. However she did say that the paper was introducing “new bundles” of ad packages because the product had changed.

The partnership comes as the Sun-Times, like other papers, has experienced a crippling drop in ad revenue and circulation. The paper reported major losses last year, and was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in May.

But other papers, most notably the New York Times, have found they can at least stem the loss of revenue from classified ads by entering into just such a partnership with Monster Worldwide, which runs the leading job-search site online. Monster is based in New York.

In addition to the classified ads, employers and other marketers will be able to place display ads on all 70 of the new sites.

Swanson said the paper’s advertisers were reacting positively to the news.

“They’re just thrilled,” she said. “People like options, and they’re very happy to have this as an option here. We’ve heard they feel this is a very strong value proposition”.

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