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The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

March 27, 2007 / Toby Dayton

Venture Investment & Deal Activity In Jobs Space Remains Strong In March

Deal activity in the employment classifieds space continued its torrid pace in March. Online classifieds aggregator Oodle.com raised $11 million in a series B round and Beyond.com, which delivers content, services, and classifieds to a network of niche job boards, raised $13.5 million in its first institutional round. Oodle’s round was led by new investor Jafco Ventures which took half the round, while previous investors Greylock Partners and Redpoint Ventures split the remainder. Beyond.com’s financing was raised entirely through a strategic investor, Safeguard Scientific. Also during the month, Gatehouse Media purchased 9 publications from The Copley Press, including 7 daily papers and 2 weekly papers. As the massive upheaval in the broader media space persists and with the resulting impact on the classifieds segment (at least in part), there is little doubt that robust deal activity will continue well into the future.

Time to read the daily paper this morning: 6 minutes and 55 seconds.

Daily recommendation for the dailies: Taken from this year’s World Young Reader Conference, which began on March 25th, daily newspapers in this country should be doing a much better job at consistently delivering content in a format designed specifically for younger readers. An occasional article, promotion, or contest is woefully insufficient in developing an active, persistent readership among teenagers and even younger readers. As the conference materials point out, the U.S. is way behind most of the rest of the world, as countries like Bolivia, France, Mexico, Panama, and Ecuador all publish daily papers for young and very young readers. While it might be too little too late, newspapers possess a truly unique, massive opportunity to cultivate future customers. A page or two every day could present some of the major stories and current events, with additional stories capturing the full range of the human experience. If done well, such content would not only engage and educate young readers, but also teach them the joys and value of reading a daily newspaper. What more could any business interested in its own sustainability ask for?

[tags]Media Space, Media Deals, Classifieds, Jobs Classifieds, Human Capital Management, Daily Newspapers, Young Readers, Media M&A, Publishing[/tags]