GCI reportedly buying out ShopLocal.com partners

Gannett is buying the rest of local shopping search engine ShopLocal.com from business partners Tribune Co. and McClatchy Co. GCI and Tribune each own 42.5% of ShopLocal, with the rest belonging to McClatchy, trade publication Editor & Publisher says.

Who are ShopLocal’s top competitors — and why does buying out Tribune and McClatchy make sense? Post your reply in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, use this link from a non-work computer; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

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17 Responses to “GCI reportedly buying out ShopLocal.com partners”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    ShopLocal has always been a solution looking for a problem. When it was launched in our market, it was filled with ads for Kohls, Circuit City, Best Buy – how is this shopping locally? Even for the advertisers still sticking with it, why wouldn’t I go to walgreens.com to see their flyer? Better interface, cleaner art, more interactivity.

    Staff was told that corporate expected half of our advertisers to be on there – a year later, we still have a big fat zero. The only money being spent is $150k in promo space we’ve wasted on full page ads that did little to drive interest or readers to the site.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    At our paper, there was a mandate to force a buy into Shoplocal with all in-print ads sold locally. This is another example of the brilliance of Gannett’s strategies. ShopLocal didn’t and still doesn’t work at all for the advertisers. A complete waste of money and another means of driving advertisers’ prices up and sending them along their way to another advertiser medium. Here comes $15/share.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    From Gannett’s announcement of the purchase:
    “Only Gannett can combine the tools and innovation of ShopLocal with the marketing and creative acumen of PointRoll. This unique synergy will allow us to supercharge our ad services business and deliver more value to our customers,” said Jack Williams, president of Gannett Digital Ventures. “The end result will be a deeper, richer customer database, marketing and sales strategies that connect with advertisers’ needs and access to broader ad networks. This is a strategic win for everyone involved.”

    LMAO! This reads like a press release crafted around 1995. Who the hell talks about “synergy” anymore? What does any of it even mean?
    ShopLocal is a loser of a site. Can’t imagine why anyone would ever go there.
    The game’s on the line, and we toss up another brick. Sigh.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Check out this brief:
    http://tinyurl.com/6lgssv

    Note, in the comments that follow: “(Chris) Saridakis is not a founder of pointroll. He came onboard 3 years after it started. Founders were Keith Gelles, Brian Sloyer and Jules Gardner.”

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Looks like McClatchy and Tribune Co. finally figured out a way to make money off of ShopLocal – sell their shares to Gannett. If only GCI were that smart.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    ShopLocal is a horrible horrible product.

    Dyed-in-the-wool print advertisers hate the unpredictability of the search results (you may come up first this week on a search for “camera” but next week you may come up 10th) and our print reps still won’t learn how to use/sell it.

    Jack’s nonsensical statement sounds like it’d be a winning card in buzzword bingo.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    So Jack, give me the pitch. How does this add value for the local advertiser? How does Gannett make more money? The big chain stores are already here, nothing local.

    I never heard of ShopLocal, or Pointroll. I guess I’m just stupid or under a rock.

    I get no local promotion from the local Gannett newspaper. I hear nothing, I see nothing, no billboard, no radio, no TV.

    How does the public get pushed to use the website? What’s the advantage? Will the revenue replace the drain of 25% less print Classified revenue?

    Money for this but not for a local newsroom. I must be missing something. And what’s the big deal about Pointroll?

    I suspect the local Gannett community advertiser is still very confused as to options, as to pricing, as to exposure, as to hits, etc.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Anon 12:38p…You must be stupid if you have not heard of Pointroll. Clue in buddy and take some interest in the company you work for.

  9. jmoriello Says:

    Here’s all you need to know about ShopLocal, one of the tools that was going to help Gannett leap into the digital age and retain ROP/insert advertisers through the Internet tsunami:

    Shortly after the McClatchy/Knight Ridder deal in 2006, ShopLocal had a value of $85 million based on the price of shares McClatchy sold back to GCI and Tribune.

    With today’s announcement that McClatchy had sold back its remaining 15 percent for just 7.9 million, the value is down to around $53 million.

    In technical terms, I believe that is what is known as an “Oooops.”

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Anon @ 12:38 here is a great description of PoinRoll:

    http://www.publish.com/c/a/Graphics-Tools/A-PointRoll-primer/

    Knowing what it is, and does, is important.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for the description, Anon 2:40 PM.
    Call me stupid, but I just don’t get the relationship—or lack of relationship—between interacting with an ad by clicking on it, and buying a product. I usually click on ads to get rid of them so I can read news. Please tell me what I’m missing here. I want to be hopeful, but I just don’t see how online revenue growth will make up for print ad declines without giving people a reason to go to a news site in the first place. I go to ’em to (you guessed it) read news—the stories, videos, graphics, etc.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Anon @ 6:17 … You’re welcome for the link.

    In simple terms – anyone feel free to provide a better clarification – working together, PointRoll and ShopLocal provide advertisers with a better demographic of who is viewing the ads. In addition, if users don’t regularly clean out their cache / temporary internet files / cookies, your surfing habits help PointRoll / ShopLocal display ads better suited toward your interests (based upon where you regularly surf). Think address specific delivery.

    That all said, don’t think for a minute that internet advertising is going to supplant print advertising. It’s not. Not even close. At best it’s a dollars-for-dimes exchange.

    For the most part, the printed newspaper had little or no competition, and the markets they existed in were very local. The internet is vast; there is unlimited competition. Because of this, advertising buys are cheap.

    And because Google and other search engines make it easy to quickly get to a specific site (think business to buy something) – and everyone’s time is limited – there is no need to search the yellow pages, go to the newspaper or newspaper web sites. Simple common sense can help you navigate directly to say, bestbuy.com, homedepot.com, century21.com, etc. to view current / existing deals, order something to be delivered or picked up at your closest store, etc.

    In essence, it’s simple geometry: the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

    I hope this helps.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    ShopLocal isn’t very happy about this deal. They just started making a name for themselves and now get sucked into the Abyss of GCI management.

    PointRoll is a good product and it will be even better for the newspapers when they actually stop competing with the newspaper in Detroit, Phoenix and all the other major markets and price it so the mid-level advertiser can actually afford to use it.

    Regarding ShopLocal (Local?) and PointRoll working together to make things better for local consumers. I will believe that when I see an actual local advertiser on the site.

    This plan seems like another twisted plot by Gannett to get another dime from their top 20 advertisers. Hasn’t that always been Gannett’s MO?

    Maybe they should hire a 12 year old who knows how to put together puzzles because I have my doubts that they can put together all these new acquisitions into a plan and actually implement it.

    This should be fun to watch along with GCI stock falling to $12.50 by fall.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    The only reason Shoplocal was bought was because know one had the balls to stand up and say it was a bad idea. Typical Gannett. Everyone kissing ass to save there jobs by not being honest.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    All of these comments talk about ShopLocal.com. This is a very small part of their business. Their most valuable asset is the local data from all the retailers and the ability to deliver this is any form, be it rich media or integrated into the publishers website. Go to Target.com, HomeDepot, Lowes, Staples, BestBuy… The in-store deals are all powered by shoplocal and integrated seamlessly into their sites. This is why Gannett/PR bought shoplocal, not because of shoplocal.com.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Everyone talks about ShopLocal.com not being local. However, I must question if any of the “anonymous” readers have actually tried the site. ShopLocal is a useful site especially if one is searching for deals on produce/groceries. This is a useful site in that regard. Compared to other “shopping” sites, ShopLocal does offer consumers something ideal in the Local sense. Before anyone tries to flame any website at least try it out because from the looks of it, it seems like most of the comments on here are from people who haven’t even tried the site. I use the site mainly for finding deals on produce and looking for sales. So far it’s been a pretty useful site.

    As far as pointroll is concerned, I have heard of them as well, and anyone who hasn’t has been living under a rock. So get your facts straight.

    7/15/2008 5:36 PM

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Anon 5:36

    ShopLOCAL infers they are deeply local and they are not. Do me a favor, try shopping their site for anything and tell me how many local mom and pop establishments show up.

    I didn’t realize Gannett was ONLY a big box supporter but it is apparent now.

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