Yahoo Strengthens Newspaper Consortium

A group of 12 newspaper companies and Yahoo have expanded a deal formed in November last year. The McClatchy Company bailed on its pact with Gannett and Tribune to join the publishers aligned with Yahoo.

The agreement stipulates for shared content and the cross-selling of ads beyond the integration of local papers with Yahoo-owned HotJobs.com listings described in November. Graphical advertising will be routed through Yahoo’s ad-serving, targeting, and inventory management system. Yahoo’s sales force will sell newspaper inventory to national advertisers. In turn, each member newspaper sales team can sell online inventory controlled by Yahoo to local advertisers.

“Using Yahoo’s incredibly powerful technology, we will be able to sell ads on the network in ways none of us can do on our own,” said Robert Decherd, chairman and CEO of Belo Corp.

Sites will include a Yahoo toolbar on each page, which will allow readers to perform Internet searches while maintaining navigation back to the publisher site.

Local content from each of the newspapers will be included in local news modules across all of Yahoo. The portal will leverage the regional content for distribution among local news, sports, finance and other special-interest user preference groups to “add another dimension to an already strong property,” said Hilary Schneider, EVP of local markets and commerce at Yahoo’s publisher network.

The consortium agreement includes a revenue share model, but Yahoo and its partners declined to comment on the monetary terms of the deal.

Member papers in the group now number 12, up from an original seven announced last fall. Original members include Belo, Cox Enterprises, E.W. Scripps, the Journal Register Company, Lee Enterprises, MediaNews Groups, and Hearst. The McClatchy Company, Media General, Calkins Media, Morris Communications, and Paddock Publications are new to the consortium.

Rumors of McClatchy’s migration from GMT Network, a network including Gannett, McClatchy, and Tribune, circulated last week.

Consortium members comprise more than 264 papers across 44 states. Sunday circulation accounts for a combined 18.5 million readers. On the Web, the newspaper sites bring in a combined total exceeding 50 million monthly unique visitors.

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