Scripps, Texas newspaper groups create online classified alliance

Fri, February 19, 1999 by Mark Kroeger

HOUSTON – Four leading U.S. media companies with extensive operations in Texas have forged an alliance to create TEXAS4U.COM, an online classified advertising marketplace that brings together the strengths and respected brand names of 18 Texas newspapers.The alliance includes The Hearst Corporation, Cox Enterprises Inc., A.H. Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC) and The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP). Texas newspapers operated by members of the alliance have a daily paid circulation of more than 2 million (more than 2.6 million on Sundays), and include the Houston Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, The Dallas Morning News and Corpus Christi Caller-Times.The companies have allied to stake their claim as the leading providers of classified advertising in Texas by combining their marketing strengths and creating the largest online classified advertising marketplace in the state.The TEXAS4U.COM web site will feature a gateway page that will link visitors to the classified web pages of the newspapers operated by the alliance member companies. Site visitors also will be able to place print and online classified ads with individual newspapers by email. While the initial focus is on classified advertising, alliance members hope long-term to build on the combined classified advertising strengths to create a news and information network, supported by advertising, that would be of value to readers and advertisers and drive traffic to participating newspapers. New York-based Real Media has been contracted as the sales representative for the alliance. Real Media is a leading provider of ad management technology and software for Web publishers worldwide.About the alliance:HearstThe Hearst Corporation (www.hearstcorp.com) is one of the nation's largest diversified communications companies. Its major interests include newspaper, magazine, book and business publishing, television and radio broadcasting, cable network programming, newspaper features distribution, television production and distribution, and new media activities.Texas newspapers: The Beaumont Enterprise; Houston Chronicle; Laredo Morning Times; Plainview Daily Herald; Midland Reporter-Telegram; San Antonio Express News.CoxCox Enterprises Inc. operates 16 daily newspapers in 14 markets, with a combined Sunday circulation of 1.6 million, and 16 weeklies with a combined circulation of 476,000. Cox also owns 18 cable TV systems serving 3.3 million customers. Cox Broadcasting includes 13 TV stations and owns, operates or provides sales and marketing services to 49 radio stations. The company also owns Manheim Auctions, the highest-volume auto auction company in the world, as well as coupon, telephone, book publishing, real estate and newsprint operations across the country.Texas newspapers: Austin American-Statesman; Waco Tribune-Herald; Longview News-Journal; The Lufkin Daily News; The (Nacogdoches) Daily Sentinel; and News Messenger in Marshall.BeloA.H. Belo Corp. is one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of television broadcasting, newspaper publishing, cable news and electronic media assets. The company's television group currently reaches 14.3 percent of U.S. television households, including three stations in the top 12 television markets. Belo has seven stations in the top 30 markets and 12 stations in the top 50 markets. In addition, the company manages four television stations through local marketing agreements and owns four local or regional cable news channels.Texas newspapers: The Dallas Morning News; The Eagle, Bryan-College Station; The Arlington Morning News. Other Texas operations: WFAA-TV (ABC), Dallas-Fort Worth; KHOU-TV (CBS), Houston; KENS-TV (CBS), San Antonio; and Texas Cable News, a regional cable television network. ScrippsThe E.W. Scripps Company (www.scripps.com), based in Cincinnati, operates 19 daily newspapers; nine network-affiliated television stations; two TV networks, Home & Garden Television and the Food Network; a TV programmer, Scripps Productions; United Media, a worldwide syndicator and licensor of news features and comics; the Scripps Howard News Service; and publishes independent Yellow Pages directories. Texas newspapers: Corpus Christi Caller-Times; Abilene Reporter-News; Times Record News in Wichita Falls; and Standard-Times in San Angelo.