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Big Newsies Join Forces, Sell Online Ads

Four major newspaper publishers form online local ad company

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Local online advertising sold by quadrantONE, a company formed by four major newspaper publishers, launched as an alternative to the Yahoo-led consortium of newspapers.

Even as Yahoo rolled up participants in its local online ad plans, the biggest names in publishing hung out on the sidelines. Working with Yahoo means sharing revenue, something that simply isn’t done by those used to setting the rules in the newspaper world.

The New York Times said the particulars of quadrantONE will be disclosed later today. The basic idea gives national advertisers a one-call opportunity to place ads on local newspaper sites around the country.

Attitudes held by the publishers about Internet players like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft may be summarized by a single digit. Not a number, but a certain upraised finger:

“We want to control our own destiny,” said Lincoln Millstein, senior vice president for digital media at Hearst Newspapers.

Executives involved said the newspaper companies understand the local market better than Google, Yahoo and Microsoft and can best help national advertisers place their messages on local sites.

Substitute “house money” for “destiny” and one gets a better idea of the motivation in play.

The new initiative could have an impact on Yahoo, as some of the newspapers in its program are also part of quadrantONE. They could possibly co-exist peacefully, but we don’t see that happening. Current evidence suggests Yahoo may see departures from its consortium of more than 600 papers.

Big Newsies Join Forces, Sell Online Ads
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