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April 17, 2007 / Toby Dayton

Yahoo’s Newspaper Coalition Keeps Growing

McClatchy announced yesterday that it was abandoning Careerbuilder to join Yahoo’s growing newspaper coalition, though for now it will not be utilizing Yahoo’s HotJobs functionality on its sites. The increasingly cozy relationship between McClatchy and and Yahoo comes as little surprise, given the somewhat cold reception McClatchy received from Gannett and Tribune when McClatchy acquired Knight Ridder’s interest in Careerbuilder. Following the sale of Knight Ridder, both Gannett and Tribune exercised their options to increase their ownership position in Careerbuilder to 40%, leaving McClatchy with just a 20% interest in the joint venture. My guess is that McClatchy will eventually sell its stake in Careerbuilder to Gannett and/or Tribune. I suppose McClatchy could also sell its stake to another newspaper publisher that isn’t already part of an online classified network, though I’m not sure there are any left. In addition to McClatchy, Yahoo also announced that it had added Media General, Morris Communications Company, and Paddock Publications, bringing the total number of papers in its stable to 264.

With all the horse trading going on between online job boards and daily newspapers, the big question is what will happen to Careerbuilder. The company has become increasingly isolated by not adding additional publishers to its network, and its current leadership position in the industry must be regarded as tenuous at best. Yahoo’s network has become enormous, Google has been building its own print publication network, and Monster is growing its own partnerships with papers around the country. Though Tribune and Gannett certainly own enough newspapers around the country to sustain a competitive network for the time being, they need to be adding papers to the network or, at a minimum, maintaining their current roster. With the news yesterday that Gannett is selling 4 of its papers to Gatehouse Media, they are taking a step backwards. And while it remains uncertain what Tribune’s new owners will do with some of its newspaper assets, there is no doubt that a sale of one or more of its major papers could prove crippling to Careerbuilder. The new race for the ‘mega’ job boards and daily newspapers seems to be centered around building larger and stronger networks, and Careerbuilder’s future in this regard has never been more perilous.

[tags]Careerbuilder, Yahoo, Yahoo!, Hotjobs, McClatchy, Gannett, Monster, Death of Newspapers, Online Job Boards, Print-Web Partnerships, Classifieds, Employment Classifieds, Advertising Networks, Media, Publishing[/tags]