More Newspapers Join Online Ad System

NEW YORK (AP) -- A group of newspaper publishers said Thursday it was joining an industry-backed online advertising sales effort aimed at winning more business from national advertisers.

The announcement adds 26 newspaper companies as affiliates to an ad sales network launched last month by Gannett Co., Tribune Co., Hearst Corp. and The New York Times Co. The new affiliates to the venture called QuadrantOne effectively doubles the size of the network to about 250 newspapers.

New members of QuadrantOne include several large newspaper companies including McClatchy Co., the No. 3 U.S. publisher by circulation; A.H. Belo Corp., owner of the Dallas Morning News; and Media General Inc.

The companies joining QuadrantOne are also in a separate consortium with the Internet company Yahoo Inc. to cooperate in other areas online, including classified job listings, search, posting news stories on Yahoo's news section and local online advertising.

QuadrantOne will create a centralized pool of standardized ad units from newspapers across the country that can be sold in blocks to large advertisers.

The goal is to simplify the process for large brand advertisers such as apparel companies to buy national online advertising on a large scale, without having to deal separately with many local media outlets.

QuadrantOne is owned by its four founding newspaper companies, but is actively seeking other newspapers to become affiliates to create a large pool of online advertising inventory.

A separate newspaper industry venture called the Newspaper National Network sells print and online ads across a network of papers, but that entity sells group ads on an ad hoc basis and doesn't have a central pool of ad units ready to be sold, as QuadrantOne does.

Rusty Coats, the chief online executive at Media General, said the company was contributing advertising spots from its large-market properties, such as The Tampa Tribune's Web site, TBO.com.

Coats said the ad sales being done through QuadrantOne wouldn't overlap with the company's cooperation efforts with Yahoo.

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