The partnership with the Akron Beacon Journal is the second alliance Monster has formed recently with a newspaper company to boost its presence in local markets. The company forged a similar deal in August with the owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News to replace CareerBuilder as the job site provider on philly.com.
CareerBuilder was a joint venture among several newspaper companies including Gannett Corp., Tribune Co., and Knight Ridder, the former parent company of the Beacon Journal. The paper was bought earlier this year by Canada-based Black Press Ltd. from the McClatchy Co.
By pairing with Monster, the Beacon Journal aims to expand its online recruiting advertising to the greater Cleveland area and northeast Ohio. "Monster is the No. 1 national recruiting site and we are the strongest in terms of local Web sites," said Beacon Journal Publisher Ed Moss. "We're combining the strengths of both and that's why we have so much confidence it's going to be positive for both companies." Ohio.com had 334,000 unique visitors as of August, and receives about 6 million monthly page views, according to Linda Morley Lyell, vice president, online operations for the Beacon Journal. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but Moss said both Monster and the paper planned to expand and coordinate their local sales efforts through the venture.
"This agreement further illustrates Monster's commitment to accelerate our business by creating alliances that drive local market share," said Peter Newton, senior vice president and general manager for small and medium businesses at Monster. Through its partnership with Philadelphia Media Holdings, page views on philly.com's job section have already increased 25 percent in September compared to the year-earlier period, according to Monster.
The moves reflect Monster's strategy of teaming up with local newspapers as a way to boost online classifieds from small businesses after hitting a wall in increasing executive recruitment, said Gordon Borrell, president of Internet research firm Borrell Associates. "It needs the local promotion that a newspaper, TV or radio station can give it," he said.
But Borrell cautioned that newspapers such as the Beacon Journal and Philadelphia Inquirer now face the challenge of having to build up the Monster brand in their local markets after years of doing the same for CareerBuilder.
Beacon Journal Publisher Moss, however, said the paper's new ownership had freed it to pursue new relationships. "It's put us in a position to be able to move quickly on new opportunities in the marketplace," he said.