MediaNews, Stephens Launch LA.com

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By: Jennifer Saba

MediaNews Group’s California Newspapers Partnership, which includes Gannett and Stephens Media Group, is taking a direct stab at online city directories by launching LA.com today. The new guide — sort of a mix between Time Out New York, Citysearch and, to a lesser extent, Gawker — promises to cater to a young, hip, Los Angeles audience by offering such tips as what to order at restaurants and where to find secret parking spots.

This is the partnership’s way of diversifying their reach and bringing in new ad dollars. “It’s a very different animal for us,” said Eric Grilly, president of MediaNews Group Interactive. “It augments and compliments our existing strategy. If you look at our coverage area, it fills a hole we don’t currently have in terms of distribution and content.”

The new site aims to tap into the pockets of its backers to gain market presence including shared sales resources for print and online ads within the partnership’s media properties.

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