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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Knight-Ridder's Investor Woes to be Expected (KR)

I've banged on the established media channels being slow to realize that the Yahoo!s and Googles of the world are going to eat their lunch. Knight-Ridder's largest shareholder, Private Capital (Legg Mason), is agitating for a sale of the company. However, KR has been one paper company that has moved fairly aggressively into the on-line space. This link to an interview with Hilary Schneider, SVP of Knight-Ridder Digital, illustrates that they've been moving aggressively through acquisitions into the space. KRD's Topix.net acquisition was a great one. The comment that interests me is where she discusses recent acquisitions of Classified Ventures:

Q: How do the acquisitions by Classified Ventures work for KR?

A: The last two acquisitions made by Classified Ventures (NewCars.com and HomeGain) gave KR a foothold in the lead generation business, which is a high-growth sector of the online classified market. Lead generation is somewhat different than a pure listings business, since it focuses on building a portfolio of products that will draw advertisers to our markets.

"Lead generation" is the new PPC. It's all about leading horses to water... It seems to me that a lot of advertising industry standards are being broken down and the pricing is inevitably moving towards payment-per-qualified-likely-buyer.

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