Media General was among the first publishers to join Yahoo’s newspaper consortium, and now the local media firm will expand its relationship with Yahoo to its TV-only markets. Media General expects the expansion to boost its Yahoo display ad revenues by approximately 50 percent.
Media General TV sales teams in four TV-only markets in Alabama, Ohio, North Carolina, and South Carolina have sold Yahoo display advertising as part of a pilot program. Now, the firm will expand Yahoo display sales to an additional eight markets. The publisher operates 18 TV stations in 17 markets, according to a company spokesperson.
For example, in Savannah, Georgia, the company only operates a TV station. Now, its sales force will offer Yahoo display inventory to advertisers. The deal could portend others like it if Yahoo newspaper publisher partners that also own television outlets – such as Cox, for example – get on board.
In December 2006, Media General was the eighth publisher to join the Yahoo consortium. Like the others, the partnership initially involved Yahoo’s HotJobs classified ads. Yahoo’s initial integrations pushed its HotJobs recruitment classifieds across partner newspaper sites, and featured the publisher partners’ job ads in the HotJobs database. Since then many of the deals have expanded to include search and display advertising.
The Media General expansion to TV-only markets involves only display ad sales. To help broaden reach for advertisers, Media General sells display inventory on Yahoo.com pages to local advertisers in its markets, targeting ads geographically, demographically, and behaviorally.
In markets where Media General operates newspapers and television stations, the firm’s sales teams sell across platforms – including Yahoo inventory, according to the Media General spokesperson.
“The exciting thing here is that it’s bringing a different type of local advertiser into Yahoo,” said Lem Lloyd, VP of Yahoo’s Newspaper Consortium. He noted advertisers such as auto dealer associations, healthcare advertisers, law firms, and local zoos and amusement parks as examples of advertisers that might be new to online display advertising. The Yahoo consortium includes around 800 newspaper sites and around 40 publisher partners; they’ve sold over 30,000 ad campaigns from local advertisers on Yahoo in the last 18 months, added Lloyd.
Media General expects the revenue it generates from HotJobs and Yahoo display ad sales to grow to around $10 million this year, up from $7 million last year, according to a press release. The firm also said the expansion could bring in an additional 50 percent in ad revenue annually.
Yahoo sold HotJobs in February to Monster Worldwide. At the time, Monster said it would continue operating the HotJobs component of Yahoo’s newspaper consortium relationships.