Struggling newspaper companies Tribune Company and AH Belo (NYSE: AHC) (NYSE: BLC) are teaming up to sell national print and online ads, Tribune subsidiary LAT reported. Under the arrangement, the LAT and the Chicago Tribune will now be able to sell ads for AH Belo’s Dallas Morning News, and vice versa.
The hope is that national advertisers will be find it more enticing to be in three of the top-five U.S. markets than to be in just one or two, said Don Meek, president of Tribune365 National Solutions Group, the unit that is overseeing the sales effort. Also, offering a central buying option is designed to combat the problem of advertisers having to deal with different color and size formats for ads in different publications. The partnership is, of course, up against a massive pullback in newspaper advertising, both in print and on the web. Newspapers suffered their worst quarter in a generation during the first three months of this year. Still, the joint effort should also allow the bankrupt Tribune and AH Belo to realize some cost savings and perhaps pick up some incremental revenue along the way.
By David Kaplan