IQ News: CliqNow Lands Consumer Associated Press Site, The Wire

To support its first packaged consumer news presentation, the Associated Press has chosen CliqNow, New York, as online advertising rep company for The Wire, its real-time news Web site.
Ads began running last week on the site, which relaunched with a new design last month. It was previously part of the New Century Network, a network of local newspaper Web sites which folded in March.
“We highlight the AP’s offerings, as well as its member relationships, to the advertising community,” said Calvin Norman, advertising consultant for the AP’s multimedia services. “We’re looking for [CliqNow] to both highlight us specifically as a leading brand name, as well as to take advantage of the networks they have in place.”
Scott Paternoster, president of the CliqNow sales group, said the AP will be one of the company’s “premium sites,” both as part of the network and on its own, with sponsorships and other deals. The site’s division into categories, such as sports, business, health and technology, adds to the targetability, he said.
“The brand name is tremendous,” Paternoster said. “It’s a very viable site for us to represent.”
The Wire is co-branded with more than 200 of the AP’s members who have news on their Web sites. Users who visit must select a member news organization’s site, through which they can enter The Wire’s content.
“The advantage to this site is we are the original source for virtually every major story, print or broadcast,” said Jim Kennedy, the AP’s director of multimedia services.
AP members originally were permitted to sell ads on their own, but many of the spaces were underutilized, Kennedy said. A pilot program was started last fall to gain national ads, and advertisers including 1-800-Flowers and BigYellow were quick to get on board.
“They told us they liked the AP brand name, they liked the geographic reach of all the members,” Kennedy said.
Now, members can sell 50 percent of their ad inventory locally and the other half is marketed nationally, with the AP sharing part of the revenues.