Newspaper companies digging a deeper hole with Yahoo!

Here’s a piece from Kate Kaye that says the Yahoo! consortium is planning a display ad network.

I had a good talk with Eric van Miltenburg, the new GM of Yahoo’s Newspaper Consortium Group, which added Morris Publishing’s 27 daily papers to its partner roster earlier this month. Now the group is up to 9 publishers and over 200 paper sites.

I was interested to learn about the progress of HotJobs integration with the new partners, and whether the rumors of that classifieds network becoming a display ad network were true. “There are no specific timelines to share at this point,” said van Miltenburg. “There are lot of details and a lot of opportunities that need to be vetted.”

Still, he did confirm that the consortium is definitely discussing the display ad possibility, in which case Yahoo would serve the ads and both the papers and Yahoo probably would have the ability to cross-sell.

“Display Ad” usually means a retail ad in print, but some people use the term interchangeably with “banner ad,” so I’m not sure exactly what the proposal is here.

That said, the whole Yahoo! deal is a fiasco — exactly the wrong move for newspapers companies to take at the wrong time and with the wrong partner.

The smarter move, and the one GMT is trying to keep alive, is for a newspaper-company-driven consortium that has established plans, procedures and standards in place before signing on with an outside partner. And the better partner would be Google.
That’s just one man’s personal opinion on his personal blog.

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