Media General plans to extend part of its Yahoo! ad sales partnership to all of its television stations by the end of the year. The group will become the first member of the Yahoo! Newspaper Consortium to sell Yahoo! Display advertising at television stations. This move follows the recent successful completion of a pilot program in four of Media General’s markets.
The pilot markets were Birmingham, AL, Columbus, OH, Mobile, AL. and Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C./Asheville, NC, which has two stations. Media General will expand the program to eight additional television stations later this month and will continue in the four current markets. The company has been selling Yahoo! Display ads in its five convergence markets, which include newspapers and TV stations, since 2007.
Said Marshall Morton, Media General CEO: “Media General has been a leader in the sale of multiple Yahoo! products at our daily newspapers since early 2007. As a result of our success in selling Yahoo! products, we will extend the sale of Yahoo! Display advertising to all of our television stations. This expansion of our Yahoo! sales is a prime example of how our market structure promotes the development of new revenue streams and facilitates customer-focused sales and marketing solutions across multiple media platforms.”
Media General generated $7 million in Yahoo! revenues at its newspapers in 2009, including Yahoo! HotJobs and Yahoo! Display advertising, and the company estimates that amount will grow to approximately $10 million in 2010. The sale of Yahoo! Display advertising is expected to increase Media General’s total Yahoo! Display revenues by some 50% on an annualized basis.
Yahoo! Display advertising is principally targeted banner ads that appear on Yahoo.com pages that display to users in Media General’s markets. The ads target users from specific ZIP codes, demos, or online behavior.
RBR-TVBR observation: This is a good example of where your station’s website is not the place to draw the line with online revenue opportunities. Giving the AE’s another item on the menu to sell to local advertisers is always good – especially when the client or potential client pulls out the, “TV advertising is too expensive, we only have enough for Internet ads right now” response.