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Metromix to help Tribune, Gannett get national ads

30 октября 2007

Tribune Co and Gannett Co Inc said on Monday they are working on a joint venture to expand Tribune's Metromix local entertainment Web site network throughout the United States in a bid for more revenue from national advertisers.

Metromix to help Tribune, Gannett get national adsMetromix LLC will be half-owned by Tribune and Gannett. The companies did not disclose financial terms, but Tribune Interactive President Tim Landon said it would not be as large as the CareerBuilder online jobs site they co-own with McClatchy Co and Microsoft Corp.

Metromix is the name of a series of Web sites in cities where Tribune already owns a newspaper, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Orlando. The site offers information such as entertainment listings, bar and restaurant reviews and write-ups on television stations and movies.

The sites are designed to tap into the growing Internet advertising market, particularly among 21- to 34-year-olds who advertisers most want to reach.

This is important for Gannett and Tribune, two of the largest U.S. newspaper publishers, which are trying to expand their digital businesses as print advertising sales slow.

"We need national scale to be able to compete more effectively," said Tribune Interactive Chief Tim Landon. "In terms of accessing national dollars, you've got to have a good, national footprint covering the top 10, 20, 30 markets."

Metromix has served Chicago for a decade, its Chief Executive Kara Walsh said, and added Orlando and Baltimore in late 2005. It added most of its other sites between last July and September.

The Chicago site has more than 45,000 reader reviews, 5,000 current events listed, 10,000 restaurants and 3,000 bars and clubs, according to a Metromix statement.

With the addition of Gannett, Tribune wants to introduce Metromix to more than 40 U.S. markets by the end of 2008, Walsh said.

Areas on the list include places where Gannett and Tribune own newspapers and television stations, such as Detroit, Phoenix, Washington DC, Dallas, Philadelphia and Seattle, Walsh said, but he noted that the companies have not yet determined the order of the roll-out.

She declined to provide goals for how much revenue and how many visitors Metromix plans to bring in, but said that it is looking for millions of unique visitors per month.

To do this, Metromix is trying to take advantage of its local presence in multiple cities. Freelancers and staff members write the reviews in individual markets, though some writing, such as for TV reviews, will come from its Los Angeles operations.

Gannett shares closed down 12 cents at $41.81 on the New York Stock Exchange. Tribune shares rose 43 cents, or 1.45 percent, to close at $30.08. 

Источник: Reuters

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