Here’s one way to keep Google from gobbling up local advertising dollars: Help them sell AdWords–but take a cut.
That’s the thinking behind Hearst-Argyle TV’s latest deal with Google, which will have the station group’s sales team sell AdWords in the 26 local markets where Hearst-Argyle owns TV stations. Aside from newspapers, local TV is supported by small, local advertisers, and so is AdWords. Now Hearst-Argyle sales folks can offer a TV spot, a banner ad on the local TV web site, and/or a keyword.
It’s Hearst-Argyle’s second deal with Google in its ongoing bid to prove it is not–repeat not–just a doomed owner of network-affiliated stations at a time when the networks are increasingly offering primetime TV directly to consumers. Although the networks have a tortured relationship with Google, Hearst-Argyle recently embraced Google, inking a video rev-share deal with YouTube in June.
So far, Hearst-Argyle stations have launched 26 YouTube channels with news, sports and weather. We’ll see how far this new-old media trust goes. Will Hearst-Argyle hand over some of its ad inventory to be auctioned off on Google TV? We doubt it.