LA Times Unit Seeks Share of Real Estate Transactions

Real estate advertising revenues will give way to transaction revenues, at least in SoCal, as the Los Angeles Times Media Group teams with several partners to launch Zetabid, a new site that will display and auction foreclosed homes and other properties. The other partners are London-based GoIndustry-DoveBid, an auction specialist, and CataList Homes of Hermosa Beach, a real estate brokerage.

Each of the partners will share fees on sold homes. For the sake of editorial neutrality, there will be an arm’s-length relationship between the newspaper (which has just folded its Sunday print real estate section) and the new entity.

“These businesses are transforming and [Zetabid is] another way to participate in advertising revenue with a slightly different model,” said Venture Chairman Bob Bellack, who is president of digital media, classified and development of Times Media Group. “The traditional newspaper model doesn’t exist anymore,” he said, in the paper’s own coverage. “The next generation media company is a company that facilitates transactions and helps buyers and sellers come together.”

The first auctions are Sept. 27-28, which MarketWatch, in its coverage, noted will be accompanied by an extensive, multichannel local promotional campaign that includes print advertising in the Los Angeles Times, broadcast advertisements through media affiliates such as KTLA, LATimes.com, other local sites, real estate sites and at Zetabid.com.

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