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A slew of companies provide white-label deal-a-day services for media partners (i.e., Nimble Commerce, Deal Current, ShoutBack, Matchbin, Wantsa, VendAsta, Analog Analytics … it goes on).

Another breed maintains its own local deal sites and fleshes them out with local media partners in the same market, building up an inventory. These include the big guys like Groupon and LivingSocial, as well as sites such as Tippr and Deal Radar. San Francisco-based TownHog gets grouped here, too.

TownHog, a 65-person company that began life as a gaming and social media site and is funded, in part, by D.E. Shaw, has now launched in 24 cities. At the same time, it powers the local stations of major networks like ABC and CBS, as well as The San Francisco Chronicle and Playboy (we’ll explain). Altogether, it reaches 6 million users a month.

Company execs Josh Tretakoff and Lilia Martinez-Coburn tell us that the advantage of working with local media is deeper than simply driving more visitors. Visitors to tend to be deal hunters, but visitors to a media site are looking to discover new things, says Tretakoff. “They are not there for the deal. They are a self-selecting group.”

Indeed, some of the site’s media partners have very specific audiences. Take Playboy, for instance. The magazine site geotags its users in New York City, who tend to be young urban professional men between 25 and 35. TownHog specially tailors its deal flow for this group, such as SportClips barbershops and cool nightclubs.

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