Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Newspapers Talk About National Online Ad Market - Again

Story in today's Chicago Tribune: 5 newspaper giants in talks about online ad network

I must be in an endless loop akin to a Groundhog Day scenario, because I've seen this headline before. About a dozen times since 1995. [Heck, I was part of the effort on a few occasions.]

This time, according to the article, the new network is to "help them recapture ad revenue leaking away from their print products." Well! Ok then. I get it. The first kajillion times didn't work because newspapers weren't losing enough money. Most observers thought it was because there was no consistency of audience, content, platform, and quality among the websites and the local staff knew that corporate was putting no teeth into the mandate.

And, yes, the new consortium "would both overlap with and compete against another network set up last year by Yahoo Inc..." The deal with Yahoo wasn't enough, uh, why? "What's missing [in the Yahoo partnership] is the ability for the newspaper companies to sell their own national ads across each other's sites." Wow - now I see the light. Apparently, newspapers are super stars about selling national ads on websites.

I'm a firm believer in monetizing websites. I know that it can be an advertiser's nightmare to try to buy ads in a string of newspaper websites. But the reason it has never happened is not for lack of a dedicated sales team that will "sell for newspapers."

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me a dozen times...nope.

No comments: