Monster Finally Makes Its Newspaper Deal

Monster has finally broken through the newspaper blockade, making a deal to launch a new Philadelphia-specific job site Aug. 14 with the new owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com. The newspapers and Web site were bought last month by Philadelphia Media Holdings from McClatchy. Previously, they were anchor properties for Knight Ridder.

Philadelphia is the nation's fifth-largest market with a metro size of 6.2 million. The loss of its newspapers could represent a significant blow for CareerBuilder that will not easily be made up. We've been hearing about some type of deal for a couple of weeks. This is it.

Monster has been pitching newspaper alliances for years but has always been considered a camel under the tent. The only significant newspaper it ever landed was The Honolulu Star Bulletin, a relatively obscure title.

No love, either, has been lost between Monster and the newspaper industry (although there were always rumors that Monster was in negotiations to be purchased by a major newspaper player). The recruitment site's primary marketing pitch has always been that newspapers were going down, and it was grabbing the lost advertisers (and then some). Monster's ultimate success, of course, is the poster child for the decline of newspapers.

In recent months, the situation has changed. Monster has lost significant ground to CareerBuilder, and the Knight Ridder papers have changed hands. Other newspaper companies are said to be considering a pact with Yahoo!'s Hot Jobs.

Another factor that might have influenced the deal was an influential report last month by Paul Ginocchio of Deutsche Bank indicating that newspapers that were not affiliated with a major national recruitment site had lower returns and market share. Of course, Ginocchio's report was based on newspapers that had affiliated with CareerBuilder. It seems likely, however, that the same results will apply to Monster. Who’s next?

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