QuadrantOne Ad Network too Late?

Media Week has reported the formation of quadrantOne, a network of four media companies that will sell national advertising across their websites. QuadrantOne comprises:

175 newspaper and TV Web sites of its four partners Gannett Co., Hearst Corp. The New York Times Co. and Tribune Co. The network will reach more than 50 million monthly unique visitors in 27 of the top 30 markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Dana Hayes, who is interim CEO of quadrantOne as well as Senior VP, sales, Tribune Interactive, said in a statement that the four companies agreed to dedicate ad inventory to the network, enabling advertisers to place ads across many local websites with a single buy. By teaming up, the four hope to better compete with national portals for online advertising by serving up online audiences of local and national newspaper and broadcast sites.

With quadrantOne, are newspapers acting or re-acting? As ad dollars and readers leave the building, it would seem the latter, and I wonder if quadrantOne is simply too little, too late. Advertisers want out of their print contracts and maybe this is a way for publishers to salvage something. This news item came on heels of The New York Times announcing a 2.5% staff cut (about 100 editors), the largest in the newspaper’s history.

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