News Analysis: Impremedia and McClatchy Partner for National Print and Digital Media Sales

Impremedia, the most acquisitive company in the Hispanic digital and print media space, yesterday announced a deal through which it partners with McClatchy’s Hispanic newspapers and their respective websites. The publications are: California’s Vida en el Valle, which publishes 5 editions in Fresno, Merced County, Modesto, Stockton and Sacramento with a total circ. of 174,000; El Nuevo Herald (daily, Spanish, circ. 90,000); and Dallas/Ft. Worth's La Estrella (weekly, Spanish, circ. 50,000) as well and its home delivery product En Casa (Spanish, weekly, circ. 100,000) which was launched last year.

Here are some questions Portada’s editorial team tried to answer:

Why is Impremedia partnering with McClatchy and not with another chain?

Because McClatchy has a great complement to its footprint.  Before this partnership, Impremedia  was  present in 7 of the top ten Hispanic markets. Together with the McClatchy newspapers, it is present in 9 of the top 10 Hispanic markets (adding Dallas/Ft. Worth and the coveted Miami market). Florida gets more th$30 million in national print advertising according to Portada Ad-Tracking. Two thirds of that amount are sold by El Nuevo Herald, the Hispanic newspaper with, by far, the largest revenues. As John Paton, CEO of Impremedia, tells Portada “now Phoenix is the only top 10 Hispanic market missing in Impremedia’s footprint. We can now sell 9 top ten Hispanic markets in one order one stop”.

No other general market newspaper chain (e.g. Media General, Media News, Gannett) has such a complementary footprint to Impremedia’s publications.

What about digital media sales?

National advertising will be sold into the 11 websites of Impremedia publications and into the websites of the three McClatchy Hispanic publications. Hispanic newspaper online advertising is still a very small niche, but growing fast. Impremedia Digital’s launch later this winter will drive more attention to the fact that Hispanic newspapers have a diamond in the rough when it comes to monetizing their online assets.

Will McClatchy and Impremedia still sell national advertising independently?

According to Impremedia’s John Paton, “Both McClatchy and Impremedia  will still be selling national advertising independently.” The national advertising team at McClatchy publications will be selling the Impremedia publications, while Impremedia’s team will be incorporating the McClatchy Hispanic markets to their sales pitches. Paton sees all national advertising categories growing as a result of this deal.

Many of these Advertising Sales Agreement between Publishing Firms have not worked well (e.g. Rumbo-Hoy or Texas Hispanic Newspaper Network) and national advertisers already can  to do “one stop one buy” through a newspaper rep firms. What is the point then of the McClatchy-Impremedia deal?

As this deal has filled the few holes they had in their national footprint, Impremedia does have incentives to sell national advertising in McClatchy’s properties especially in Dallas/Ft. Worth and Miami. It remains to be seen if it will work the other way around. The details in these sales agreements such as incentives, sales commissions for incremental advertising, etc. are crucial for their success.

In addition, newspapers, as opposed to ad sales networks, own the  products they sell and have a range of research tools. According to Paton, McClatchy and Impremedia can also develop  products for particular advertisers and markets.

Could this be the beginning of a deeper integration between Impremedia and McClatchy?

Paton stresses that this is just a sales agreement between the two companies. There has been no further discussion. However, the future is open.