Good news. Online newspaper readers will no longer miss out on local grocery store circulars. They can thank Gannett – along with a renewed appetite from traditional media for Internet firms.
In June, Gannett bought media marketer PointRoll for about $100 million, itself a coupon-cutter special (the New York Times paid $440 million for About.com; Scripps paid $525 million for Shopzilla. In all, offline media has quietly shelled out over $1 billion this year for online advertisers and marketers). By late August, Gannett, Knight Ridder and the Tribune Company had created ShopLocal, a searchable national database of neighborhood store specials, sales and discounts. The goal was to keep big chain businesses running ads for local outlets in the online editions of local papers. Today, Gannet announced it would soon roll out banner ads on its newspaper websites that work just like old-world circulars: by entering a ZIP code, readers can view discount prices at the nearest store.
Now instead of falling in your lap, it’s your laptop.