I’m not shocked that Google abandoned its effort to sell print ads for newspapers. When the program started, I was dubious because I said that it could commodify print brands (magazines at first). As it turns out, newspapers also didn’t hand over decent inventory — that is, space — to Google and so the program was not of much value to either Google or the papers.
One of the great blown opportunities in the history – yes, history – of newspapers will be their failure to set up networks to get new advertisers and dollars. The disastrous New Century Network should have been nothing but an ad network, but papers overcomplicated it and then didn’t support it because they all wanted to control. I told the AP a decade ago that it should become an ad network for papers but that was never going to happen. Networks could have sold the quality of papers. Now they sell remnant space.