Newspaper News Bits

There have been lots of newspaper news and announcements in and around the NAA show so far, and I imagine much more to come. Here is a sampling:

 LostRemote reports that The San Francisco Chronicle is experimenting with podcasts of users that call in to express thoughts or give feedback. This could be an interesting experiment that puts a new twist on the principles of the longstanding Letters to the Editor department. This type of creative thinking is being talked about a lot during sessions at the NAA show. But as mentioned in the previous post, it probably goes without saying that talk and action are two different things.

 LostRemote also reports on a recent survey of teachers that affirms much of what we already know about print newspapers falling behind television and the Web as a top source of news for young people.

 Topix.net announced that it will integrate its free general merchandise classifieds across Tribune Co. newspaper Web sites by May (starting right away with Baltimoresun.com). Topix.net is here at the NAA show, and I hope to catch up with the company to get more information. Tribune’s ownership structure meanwhile continues to be shrouded in question marks.

 Elsewhere in Tribune Co., the publisher has made a somewhat uncharacteristically progressive move in announcing a partnership with video sharing site vMix in order to enable user-generated content across its 50 newspaper sites (including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and New York’s Newsday). This will include the capability for user-generated videos, photos and blogs.

 Lastly, online ad sales firm AdStar has partnered with Kaango, an online classified publishing platform used by, among others, Scripps and MediaNews Group. These publishers will now be able to have a one-stop shop approach to sell print and Web classified space. I’m scheduled to talk to AdStar later today and will have more info then.

In the meantime ClickZ‘s Kate Kaye reports from the NAA show about some of the classified deals mentioned above that are signaling the continued recognition that publishers need to embrace and build better online models. She also has an interesting angle on the AdStar/Kaango deal; how MediaNews Group’s lead in the recently formed Yahoo! advertiser consortium could position Yahoo! to rival Google’s forays into print advertising distribution.

More to come later.

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