Major Media Companies Launch Common Online Shopping Platform

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By: Press Release | Business Wire

ROSEVILLE, Calif., Nov 17, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — A consortium of eight leading media and publishing companies — Advance Digital, A. H. Belo Corporation, Cox Media Group, Gannett Co., Inc., Hearst Corporation, MediaNews Group, The McClatchy Company, and The Washington Post Co. — today announced the formation of a joint venture in connection with the launch of a common online shopping platform to help advertisers reach consumers making purchasing decisions.

This new venture includes assets from its acquisition of Travidia, a leading developer of online shopping solutions, including Find n Save(TM), a full-service shopping platform for local media affiliates. Christopher Tippie, an industry veteran who was the founding executive director of the Yahoo! Newspaper Consortium, will serve as acting CEO of the new joint venture. The new company will adopt the Find n Save(TM) brand. Financial terms of the Travidia acquisition were not disclosed.

“This initiative among the country’s leading media companies and publishing brands provides advertisers a unique opportunity to reach consumers through a simplified and standardized advertising platform. Advertisers can target audiences across participating local newspaper markets through digital display ads or with digital circulars,” said Tippie, who, as managing partner at Maroon Partners, LLC, served as consultant to the effort. “By leveraging the existing expertise of Travidia, we are able to offer our local and national clients a consistent, easy-to-deploy advertising solution.”

With today’s announcement, advertisers can reach 19 of the top 50 local markets, and the new company plans to add another 21 of the top 50 local markets within the next four weeks. Find n Save(TM) affiliation is available to any local daily newspaper in the United States. By the end of 2012, Find n Save(TM) will be in place at an estimated 250 newspapers. By the end of 2013, an estimated 400 newspapers are expected to be Find n Save(TM) affiliates.

Discussions also are under way with several other media companies that have expressed interest in joining this new venture.

“We have enjoyed working with these world class media brands for years and applaud their efforts to come together to solve their customers’ needs and drive more traffic to our clients’ stores and online circulars,” said Christopher Cope, CEO at American Communications Group (ACG), the second largest print media agency in the U.S. representing such national retailers as JCPenney, Michaels and Belk.

The Find n Save(TM) platform is tailored to local audiences, offering digital coupons, daily deals, digital circulars, and other advertising products designed and managed by the local affiliate for maximum impact. Specialized Find n Save(TM) solutions such as “Search Boost,” “Advertiser Landing Pages” and “Featured Offers” will also help advertising clients meaningfully connect with local shoppers.

Christian Hendricks, McClatchy’s vice president for interactive media, said, “We have been rolling out Find n Save(TM) across McClatchy’s markets since late last year. It is a powerful and efficient platform that has proven to be highly effective in linking advertisers and consumers. Our advertisers have realized important benefits and immediate value in using this consistent digital platform.”

Matthew Spahn, president and CEO of planitretail, agency for Radio Shack and other major retailers, said, “Circulars continue to be a key driver of traffic in today’s retail environment. By creating this joint venture, these eight media companies are affording advertisers a unique, scalable and turnkey solution for local consumer engagement across all platforms — print and digital.”

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