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McClatchy Unloads Real Cities

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The McClatchy Co. has sold Real Cities to Chicago-based Centro for an undisclosed sum.
Centro provides software to help agencies plan and buy advertising on local Web sites. Real Cities is the online advertising network started by Knight Ridder in 2000 that sold online inventory of participating newspapers. About 1,800 newspaper Web sites are part of Real Cities.

For Centro, the deal gives the company the opportunity to bring inventory to advertisers and to build scale.

"We've partnered so much with Real Cities and McClatchy over the years and have such a tremendous amount of respect for the leadership team that it's a great pleasure to bring our companies together," Shawn Riegsecker, chairman and CEO of Centro, said in a statement.

While Centro bought the Real Cities brand, contracts and client relationships, Riegsecker said that newspapers shouldn't notice any changes. The Real Cities brand though will no longer exist.

"Any newspaper Web site, advertiser or advertising agency doing business with Centro has no doubt been impressed by Centro's quality service and one-order-one-bill efficiency,"
Christian Hendricks, McClatchy's vice president for interactive media, said in a statement.
"Couple these two strengths with the promise of Centro's new ad placement technology and you see why we're pleased with our decision."