Newspapers’ industrial suicide

Three of the (still) big newspaper companies, Gannett, Tribune, McClatchy, announced a joint effort to sell national ads onto their web sites. Now you might think I’d nod approvingly at that. But I’m not. I’m shaking my head in sad disbelief. For this only reminds me of the newspaper industry’s horribly failed effort to sell ads across the sites of a dozen big companies, the New Century Network, which failed because the companies simply could not work together. And the Journal story only points out that there are still fragmented, competitive efforts going on in the industry. The bottom line is that they are making it hard for national advertisers to buy their sites — thus, easier to buy Yahoo, Google, MSN, MySpace, et al. You see, newspapers all think they’re special. But they’re not.

  • baker

    A year ago, I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about the prospect of aggregating inventory for our company, allowing clients to buy into a “network.” Now, the idea just makes me laugh, then I get sad, then I laugh some more.

  • What an absurd blanket statement (and blanket statements are generally the refuge of simple minds). Anyone with a brain and a pair of eyes can recognize that the truth is that good papers are special and bad ones aren’t. End of story.

  • Chris Feola

    New Century Network — haven’t thought about that in a while. I was at the Media Center at the American Press Institute when hopes were high for NCN, and they were trying to explain to me how it would work despite requiring UNANIMOUS approval of just about everything.

    It’s beyond suicide. It’s like watching lemmings hurl themselves over cliffs.


    Chris Feola

  • Newspapers, with some exceptions, are on their way out. Every free local paper that lands at my door goes straight to the recycle bin. And speaking of the environment, the sooner they abandon ship the better, maybe there will be some trees left for my daughter to enjoy when she grows up.