April 17, 2007
It was really only a matter of time before McClatchy (NYSE: MNI ) flashed its press pass at Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO ) , wanting to join the consortium of newspapers that have turned to the search-engine giant to beef up online profits.
You can't blame McClatchy for being late. It just needed time to catch its breath and realize what it ultimately wanted to be when it grew up. McClatchy has been swapping assets lately. It completed its purchase of Knight Ridder, only to turn around a few months later and sell its flagship Star Tribune paper.
Now McClatchy is joining four other new publishers in the Yahoo! consortium, bringing the total of industry-leading participants to a cool dozen. These companies have partnered with Yahoo! to produce high-margin Web-based revenue. The original arrangement included newspaper giants like E.W. Scripps (NYSE: SSP ) and Lee Enterprises (NYSE: LEE ) , but now comprises 264 different newspapers in 44 states.
It's a win-win deal. Yahoo! now has access to 50 million unique monthly visitors to the newspaper websites. Whether it's providing targeted text-based ads based on search queries or serving up graphical ads, Yahoo! will bring new advertisers to each paper, along with its seasoned Internet expertise.
So how about that? Good news in the newspaper industry, for a change. With bleak reports of lower circulation rates, morale-crushing layoffs, and smaller publication sizes, the sector needed something like this to shout from the rooftops.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz still subscribes to daily print newspapers like The Miami Herald and The Wall Street Journal. However, he's getting most of his news online. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.