Embattled media companies Yahoo and Gannett are getting even cozier.
Facing revenue declines, the Internet giant and the country’s biggest newspaper publisher are hoping they can boost their bottom lines with an expanded local advertising partnership.
The companies initially launched a tie-in last July in all of Gannett’s 81 local publishing organizations and seven of its broadcast markets. Today, the companies said they’re expanding the alliance to cover all 19 of Gannett’s broadcast markets.
Similar to partnerships with the Newspaper Consortium (which includes 800 newspapers) and television company Belo, the deal allows Gannett to sell ad inventory on Yahoo.
“We work with a lot of local media companies . . . to allow them to sell Yahoo behavioral targeting and local geo-targeted inventory,” said Lem Lloyd, Yahoo's vp North America channel sales. “Gannett is one of the more successful companies we’ve worked with in terms of leveraging the Yahoo partnership for revenue.”
Lloyd declined to quantify the partnership’s success but said it numbered “in the millions and millions.”
“We focus a lot on large advertisers and getting them on Yahoo and giving them a great digital experience,” Lloyd said. “That long tail, the regional advertising, is something we look a lot of times to our reseller network . . . What we’re finding is that they’re bringing in lots of local advertisers that we would never really be going out to bring on to Yahoo.”
Local advertising has always been important, Lloyd said. But, presumably, it’s even more important to the company now as it hopes to boost its display advertising revenue. During its quarterly earnings call earlier this summer, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said that while overall display revenue was up 5 percent, it was flat in the Americas region and down in the U.S.
For Gannett, the partnership shows that the old media company is making strides in the online space.
During an earnings call this January, Craig Dubow, Gannett’s CEO and chairman, specifically called out the Yahoo partnership as “a great example of our ability to adapt to changing advertiser choices and customizing our advertiser solutions to help their business.”
But in its earnings call last month, the company said net income dropped about 22 percent for the quarter and revenue dipped 2 percent. In June, Gannett announced that it was cutting 700 jobs—or 2 percent of the company.
Still, Anthony Diaz, vice president of sales strategy and development for Gannett, said that in digital advertising the company is posting gains. In the last quarter, Gannett’s broadcast division reported a 29 percent year-over-year increase in revenue, while company-wide digital revenues were up 13 percent.
“The relationship with Yahoo has given us the opportunity to deliver audiences that are more targeted than we could without that partnership,” he said. “Posting growth [in digital revenue] is a sign that we can get out there and create new demand and uncover new markets.”