Progress Report From Yahoo Newspaper Consortium

The 32-company-strong Yahoo Newspaper Consortium, which covers 41 percent of Sunday newspaper circulation, has 700 to 900 reps selling Yahoo inventory, with a couple of the newspapers selling more than $1 million in annual inventory, reports Yahoo’s Lem Lloyd, who we know from previous stints with Oodle and Knight Ridder Digital. We talked to Lloyd for a new Advisory for Kelsey Marketplaces clients and are excerpting highlights here.

Lloyd says the consortium has already rolled out products on several fronts, including the initial co-brand effort with HotJobs, national advertising and search. Some midsize newspaper sites are getting “four digits” a month from search alone, he notes.

Yahoo also has a program of distributing newspaper headlines throughout the portal. AH Belo’s Dallas Morning News, for instance, says that there have been days in which 27 percent of page views and 65 percent of unique visitors come from the portal placements. “We send millions and millions of referrals every month,” says Lloyd. “They monetize that. We don’t [require] a revenue share.”

In Q3, a behavioral targeting effort will launch, starting with Hearst’s SFGate and MediaNews Group’s Mercury News. It is expected to be the consortium’s most ambitious effort. By zeroing in on customer prospects, newspapers may fetch super-premium rates for auto advertising and other major ad categories.

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