Google to Newspapers: Drop Dead

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googlesucks_small.jpgADOTAS — Google told newspapers, ‘we’ll take your content for free, but you’re on your own when it comes to staying afloat.’

In a blog post today, the company said it decided to drop it’s Print ad program:

“While we hoped that Print Ads would create a new revenue stream for newspapers and produce more relevant advertising for consumers, the product has not created the impact that we — or our partners — wanted. As a result, we will stop offering Print Ads on February 28. For advertisers who have campaigns already booked, we will place their ads through March 31.”

The program started with 50 newspaper partners in November 2006 and expanded the network to include more than 800 U.S. newspapers. While many newspapers used the program primarily for selling small amounts of ad space they could not sell themselves, at below-market rates, small publishers could be hurt more.

“We got some good business out of it,” Steve Rossi, president and chief executive of the California Newspapers Partnership, which includes more than 30 daily newspapers owned by the MediaNews Group, Gannett and others, told the Times.

But don’t worry, Google feels their pain: “We believe fair and accurate journalism and timely news are critical ingredients to a healthy democracy. We remain dedicated to working with publishers to develop new ways for them to earn money, distribute and aggregate content and attract new readers online. We have teams of people working with hundreds of publishers to find new and creative ways to earn money from engaging online content.”

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