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Media companies are beginning to strongly leverage their databases and promotional capabilities to push deals, according to several panelists at BIA/Kelsey’s Deals 3D conference today in San Francisco. Radio stations, for instance, haven’t really cashed in with online opportunities, but there is huge opportunity for them with deals, said Triton Media VP Jim Kerr.

Kerr’s company is one of the largest providers of online services to radio and TV stations. He noted that “we saw a gold rush [in the deals space] and we thought margins would shrink. But at the end of the day, we looked at local radio and we saw a tremendous opportunity there” in its huge databases.

Five percent of CUME in Chicago may not sound like much but it is 80,000 people, said Kerr. If you throw out two-thirds of those names because they may have bad information, you still have 20,000 to 25,000 people whom you can use to market deals to. Kerr also noted that his company has partnered with DealCurrent as its white-label provider.

Other speakers also talked about the appeal of media in the deals space. TownHog’s Lilia Martinez-Coburn said the company finds major leverage to media companies that have strong local sales forces. “Deals are part of something bigger; it is not just a daily deal,” she said. “It’s part of a total media package for merchants.”

Group Commerce CEO Jonty Kelt reinforced Martinez-Coburn ’s point. “Many segments within the publishing world can be leveraged for deal promotion,” he noted, citing print, websites, newsletters, blogs, email and mobile as examples.

The platforms extend even further, noted Second Street Media CEO Matt Coen. Today, for instance, The Washington Post, a partner, is promoting a free Papa John pizza deal in Virginia with an ad on the newspaper delivery bag for home subscribers. The deal has been getting 300 sales a minute, he said. Tomorrow, The Post will have a full dropdown ad on its website.

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