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Newspapers and Yahoo cut online partnership

NEW YORK -- Yahoo Inc. disclosed a far-reaching partnership yesterday with 176 newspapers to sell ads, share content and deliver Internet search, graphical and classified advertising to consumers.

The multiyear, revenue-sharing deal is shaping up as a blow to Google Inc., which had been in the running for the partnership but eventually lost out to Yahoo's broader reach, according to executives involved in the deal.

The arrangement between Yahoo and the consortium of seven US newspaper chains is to start with Yahoo's creation of a jobs board, consisting of its HotJobs listings, that will then appear on the newspapers' websites.

Next up is for Yahoo to provide Internet search, its own content and local applications to all the newspapers' sites. Also, the newspapers plan to share their content with Yahoo so it can show up within the company's various online features. This phase is likely to start in early 2007.

In a blow to Google, the pact also raises the possibility that Yahoo will provide its ad-selling technology to the newspaper websites, plus provide such localized products as event listings and Yahoo Maps. That may happen as soon as the first quarter of 2007, said executives involved in the deal.

The newspapers involved, members of seven major chains including Hearst and Scripps, are responsible for more than 12 million copies sold daily in 38 states. The chains involved also include Belo Corp., Cox Newspapers Inc., Register Co., Lee Enterprises Inc. and MediaNews Group.

For Yahoo, the deal means it can reach, in some cases exclusively, into local markets to reach the majority of US businesses that don't yet advertise online. Also, the deal is expected to put the newspaper chains' locally focused stories and brands on a global stage, which has been very hard to achieve in the past.

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