14 Florida Papers Form Jobs Classifieds Network

By: Carl Sullivan

Updated at 5:55 p.m. EST, Dec. 11

Fourteen Florida newspapers, including The Tampa Tribune, have banded together to create Florida Top Jobs, a new online database of premium help-wanted listings.

The announcement was made Tuesday morning by The New York Times Regional Newspaper Group; The E.W. Scripps Co. of Cincinnati; Media General Inc. of Richmond, Va.; Morris Communications Co. LLC of Augusta, Ga.; and the Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal.

Florida Top Jobs will not include all of the help-wanted ads from participating newspapers. Instead, it will only include premium-position ads, an upsell from traditional jobs classifieds. The Top Jobs appear on a right-hand rail of participating newspaper Web pages. On the Sarasota Herald-Tribune site Tuesday, three Top Jobs listings appeared: two from the Tampa paper and one from the Daytona Beach paper. Listings are regularly rotated in from a larger database of more than 30 jobs. Viewers can also click at the bottom of the Top Jobs section to have access to that full database at any time.

By placing the Top Jobs ads in Web site news sections, employers are able to get their job listings in front of passive job seekers, or those who may not be actively searching for a new job. Florida Top Jobs should be an ideal advertising vehicle for companies that employee workers across the state, said Peter Zollman, founding principal of Classified Intelligence, a consulting firm in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

Employers will be able to post their premium job listings across the network of Florida newspaper Web sites with one buy. The partners say the network could eventually generate 2.5 million unique visitors per month.

After six months, participation in the network will be opened to all Florida daily newspapers, provided that they agree to the terms and conditions on the consortium. “The nature of the consortium is to be inclusive, and not exclusive,” said New York Times Co. spokesman Toby Usnik. He said the six-month waiting period is a pilot phase to test the system and work out any problems.

The companies said the 14 participating newspaper represent 877,000 daily and 1.1 million Sunday subscribers.

Florida’s largest newspapers (the St. Petersburg Times, The Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, and South Florida Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale) are not participating. All are members of the CareerBuilder network, owned by Gannett, Knight Ridder, and Tribune.

The Florida Top Jobs project started about a year ago when New York Times Regional Vice President, News/New Media Bruce Kyse had conversations with his counterparts at other Sunshine State papers about working together on recruitment classifieds. The partners met in the spring and decided to move forward with the Top Jobs project.

There is some market overlap among the participating newspapers. For example, the Daytona Beach paper and The St. Augustine Record cover neighboring communities.

And even fierce competitors of existing Top Jobs network members, such as The Tampa Tribune, are welcome to join the project. “The St. Petersburg Times would be able to join after the initial six-month period,” Usnik said.

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