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Local TV revenues are projected to drop over 15 percent this year, according to some analysts. Yet at the same time, hypertargeted local advertising is growing. Pinning its hopes on local online advertising, NBC Local Media just launched Neighborhood News Pages in nine O&O markets including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

The New York Times, itself no stranger to rapidly eroding ad revenues, has similarly partnered with EveryBlock to deliver more political news to the EveryBlock New York web site. Content pulled from the Times will notify users each time a local political representative is mentioned in the newspaper of record.

NBC's local sites, built by Outside.in, aggregate stories from local NBC affiliates as well as the Web around local news, sports, health, "around town", weather and traffic. Information is further organized by neighborhood. Ads will be sold on the network and O&O levels, representing both national and local advertisers.

The next few years will be critical for major media companies attempting to capture hyper-local ad dollars. Naturally, local newspapers and regional O&Os possess the requisite local cred more national media brands lack. But they're still up against the same threats to their revenue model, most notably established online brands like Craigslist with a huge user base and free or very low cost advertising. They're also up against the search providers who, like these local content players, offer numerous hyperlocal ways to slice and dice advertising, from postal code to city to longitude and latitude.

Rebecca Lieb

Published 29 January, 2009 by Rebecca Lieb

Rebecca Lieb oversees Econsultancy's North American operations.

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