Local Broadcasters New Competition For Classifieds

Newspapers are facing an array of new threats to their classifieds business, which is already under fire from free Internet services like Craigslist and eBay. In the latest development, members of the old media--specifically, local TV broadcasters--are using their online presence to get into the game.

"We have a whole new set of competitors coming into classifieds, which traditionally haven't been in the business because it just didn't fit with their medium," notes Ken Doctor, a newspaper analyst with Outsell, Inc. But with most local stations maintaining a Web presence, "now local broadcasters are moving pretty quickly to take a piece of the classifieds."

Doctor pointed to companies like Internet Broadcasting Systems, a national network of local TV stations that recently struck a deal with Monster.com to share online recruitment listings in 108 markets. Under the terms of the deal, Monster.com is powering co-branded career mini-sites for 120 existing station sites. These sites are being heavily promoted with TV advertising spots provided by the stations, as well as ads on the Internet.



Included in the arrangement are stations in all top 20 markets, such as WNBC.com in New York, NBC5.com in Chicago, NBC4.tv in Los Angeles and TheBostonChannel.com. In addition to NBC affiliates, IBS publishes Web sites for stations owned by Hearst-Argyle, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Post-Newsweek, Cox Television, Meredith Broadcasting, Scripps and Morgan Broadcasting.

Aside from recruitment, IBS-published local station sites are also making inroads in the other big classified categories: real estate and automotive. Most of the sites have an automotive classifieds feature powered by autotrader.com, and real-estate classifieds with content sponsored by moving.com and realtytrac.com.

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