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December 11, 2010 / Matt Gerardi

Are Newspaper Classifieds Coming Back From The Dead?

According to McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt, the now long held wisdom that the Internet killed newspaper classifieds, stealing up a large portion of advertising revenue, might be untrue. (Poynter)

Well, not entirely untrue.

Speaking at the UBS Global Media Conference on Wednesday, Pruitt told attendees the classifieds are the fastest recuperating segment of its advertising base. This is thanks to a handful of new strategies McClatchy has employed.

First off, much of the company’s classified ads have moved online. According to Pruitt over half of the company’s employment ad income comes from online ads. It also helps that digital classifieds are now running close or equal to the price of their print counterparts.

McClatchy’s sizable stakes in three national online classified services also helps. The media company owns 14.4 percent of CareerBuilder, 25.6 percent of Classified Ventures — proprietor of cars.com and apartments.com — and 33.3 percent HomeFinder.

Local ads are a key focus, with local online ads running at three to four times the price of national ads. Competition is growing in that market, however, with web services such as Yelp and CitySearch eating up some of the local advertising market.

McClatchy is operating profitably, but is not promising an increase in revenue in the near future.

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