McClatchy to Bolt from GMT Network to Yahoo

yahoo-logo-735610.jpgJust when you thought the newspaper industry lines were divided, somebody crosses one of them. This time, it’s McClatchy, which according to the Wall Street Journal and affirmed by an insider source of mine, is planning to join Yahoo’s newspaper consortium. This not only gives Yahoo more clout, it doesn’t look good for the would-be GMT network (the Gannett, McClatchy and Tribune ad triad).

According to the story, Yahoo’s Panama ad platform factored prominently into McClatchy’s decision to join the consortium.

While the story points to distribution of Yahoo’s search and use of its ad platform by the paper partners, some believe Yahoo is really after the newspaper site content to beef up its own site’s ad inventory.

Questions abound as to the future of the GMT relationship. The three publishers are co-owners of Yahoo HotJobs competitor CareerBuilder, and other classifieds operations. Though the McClatchy drop out doesn’t bode well for the future of a GT ad network, my industry source said the GMT CareerBuilder connection will probably remain intact.

Of course, Yahoo’s future hangs in the balance now that Google has snapped up DoubleClick for a cool $3.1 bil. Even with its new critically-acclaimed ad platform and potential to manage all the ads across all its newspaper partners’ sites, competing with the Google powerhouse, now bolstered by DoubleClick’s new ad exchange, powerful ad management platform and longtime publisher and agency relationships will be tough.

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