I had a great chat with Mark Davis, VP Strategy at San Diego Union Tribune this afternoon. Following some significant interactive exec departures, Davis is heading up strategy for the publisher’s interactive operations (in addition to strategy for the overall business). He’s got a lot of decision making ahead of him, but one of those decisions may involve Yahoo’s newspaper consortium.
“We’re also looking at the Yahoo consortium,” Davis told me, stressing no deal has been signed. He wasn’t involved when Yahoo originally made its offer a couple years ago, so he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) say exactly what’s prevented the Union Tribune from joining the growing alliance in the past.
“I think that it’s just one of those things where in the initial negotiations with that…didn’t look right for us. It just sort of fell off the radar screen.” Now, he continued, “We took another look at it and said this may work for us.”
As newspapers struggle with plummeting print ad sales and slowing online ad growth, they need more online advertisers, pronto. Part of the attraction of partnering with Yahoo, Davis said, is the ability to increase local reach for advertisers through Yahoo inventory.