Gannett Talks Ad Network, CareerBuilder, Social Sites Roll Out

gannettlogo.jpgGannett did its Q4 ’06 earnings call this morning. I listened in and caught a few interesting tidbits related to their online businesses. First off, the company said it earned over $400 million in online revenue in 2006, with strong interest from all advertiser verticals. USAToday.com’s revenues were up 42 percent according to Gannett, the paper’s owner.

Revenue for jobs classifieds network CareerBuilder, in which Gannett, McClatchy and Tribune are investor partners, rose 29 percent in Q4 over the same period last year, the company added. There are no plans for a CareerBuilder IPO, either.

Gannett chairman, president and CEO Craig Dubow did make reference to the online national ad network the publisher is forming with Tribune and McClatchy, noting it was a big discussion topic at meetings this week. As for the ever-present concern about a Yahoo consortium/GMT network industry split, Dubow said, “The key is the industry must get together… there were some very, very positive discussions that were had there.”

Since I’ve been keeping track of newspaper publishers incorporating social media features on their sites, or launching separate social sites, I was interested to hear about Gannett’s mommy-centric sites IndyMoms.com and cincyMOMS.com, as in Indianapolis and Cincinnati. The sites offer forums, calendars and photo sharing, and link to local paper affiliate classifieds. Dubow said the Indy site (the older of the two) is doing very well ad revenue-wise, and added, “We are expanding the number of mom sites across the country.”

One interesting side note: IndyMoms.com has ads running for AFC Championship Collectibles and Levitra. At first I thought, “Wow, talk about bad targeting!” But it actually makes perfect sense. Sports collectibles make good gifts for daddies, and I suppose it takes a little female prodding to get men to consider erectile dysfunction drugs. Not that I would know.

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