US newspapers launch online ad network

Four of the top newspaper companies in the US, including the New York Times Company and Hearst, are to launch an online ad sales business targeting wealthy consumers.

QuadrantOne, which is also backed by the Los Angeles Times-owner Tribune Company and USA Today-owner Gannett, will aggregate online audiences across the four businesses to give advertisers better access to the high-end consumers they are looking to target.

The launch comes as US newspapers struggle to generate new online revenues to replace fast depleting traditional print business.

The four claim that the QuadrantOne network will have a reach of nearly 50m monthly unique visitors and covers 27 out of the top 30 markets.

The launch will be the first time that advertisers have had the capability to deliver their brands and messages on a national scale through online newspaper and broadcasting sites of the participating media companies.

Each participating company has agreed to dedicate advertising inventory to QuadrantOne so that the network can offer customised online campaigns on a competitive basis. It will allow advertisers to place the same ad across hundreds of local websites on the same day with one buy.

Jack Williams, president of Gannett Digital Ventures, said: "For the first time, the media industry will be able to compete effectively for advertising dollars currently going to the national portals and others. QuadrantOne's audience is of the highest quality. By networking our sites, we have delivered -- in one stroke -- the reach and scope desired by national advertisers."

The move has been welcomed by media buyers who see it as a way of circumventing the fragmented market place.

Chris Boothe, president and chief activation officer at Starcom US, said: "When faced with a growing number of fragmented ad media options, particularly on the web, advertisers are looking for new opportunities and innovative models providing a valuable, measurable consumer experience.

"QuadrantOne steps up to the challenge of the new media future, and on behalf of our advertisers, we appreciate that it provides hyper-localized opportunities for brand impact that resonate with targeted audiences."

Lincoln Millstein, senior vice-president of digital media at Hearst Newspapers, added: "We now have the ability to offer advertisers the aggregated inventory of our prized content categories such as health, business news, technology, sports, personal finance and auto news. That's never been possible before."

Last week, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times announced hundreds of job cuts, as publishers make cutbacks in the face of falling print revenues.

Meanwhile, the New York Times remains under pressure from dissident investors who want it to change strategy and focus more on digital.

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