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'I've had three ad reps in the last year'

Advertisers are concerned that the consolidation of daily newspapers in the Bay Area will reduce the quality of news coverage and reduce readership even more, Examiner reporter Kate Williamson writes in today’s edition.

The Examiner says MediaNews Group, the company headed by Dean Singleton of Denver, is beginning to consolidate the advertising departments of the newspapers it bought last year, the Mercury News and Contra Costa Times, with those it already owned, the Alameda Newspaper Group, which includes the Oakland Tribune, San Mateo County Times and Marin Independent Journal.

Ad buyers say they haven’t seen any increases in rates, but they’re seeing a lot of turnover in staff. “I’ve had three ad reps in the past year,” said Ricki Kohn, the founding partner of RK Media Solutions. “It makes my job a little harder.”

Media buyers interviewed by the Ex also said they were concerned that the papers maintain their quality, because readers may not subscribe to a paper if it changes, or a different demographic group of customers may result. Those options can expose ads to fewer potential customers — or the wrong ones for the ad buyers’ clients.

“If it’s not local, if its general Bay Area stories … their articles will become useless,” said one buyer who was not identified by the Ex but was said to represent a “very large” national advertiser. “It’s important that they [the different papers] maintain their individuality, that the content remains pertinent.”

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