Media Companies Increase Ownership of Internet Ventures

AP and BusinessWeek are reporting that newspaper groups including Gannett Co., McClatchy Co. and Tribune Co. have agreed to increase their ownership percentage in CareerBuilder.com, ShopLocal.com and Topix.net.

The deals place the following valuations on each of the respective businesses:

  • CareerBuilder at $1.55 billion
  • ShopLocal.com at $85 million
  • Topix.net at $72 million

"Increasing our ownership position in CareerBuilder, ShopLocal.com and Topix.net is consistent with our Internet growth strategy," said Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune chairman, president and chief executive, in a statement. This investment comes at a time when newspaper classified revenues continue to be threatened by nimble start-ups and search engines.

The timing is interesting given that Yahoo! has been discussing a deeper level of cooperation with Hearst Corp. and MediaNews Group for its own HotJobs product. Newspapers have been aggressive on the partnership and acquisition front for some time. Often they are more aggressive than most people give them credit for. Many of their deals are outlined here in Newspapers 2.0, Part 3: Changing Directions in Newspaper Advertising.

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