Cox Media Group, Digital First Media, New York Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and Tribune 365, the national sales team for Tribune Co., have come together under one roof to form Blue Sky Collective. The idea originated from Mediaspace Solutions, a company with offices in Hopkins, Minn. And Wilton, Conn., which works with national and regional advertisers and focuses on newspapers.
The first meeting of Blue Sky Collective was in Mediaspace’s Minnesota offices in June. According to director of innovation Amee Tomlinson, newspaper advertising representatives discussed online advertising opportunities, technology development, and social media.
In October, the group met in Chicago and discussed special sections and opportunities for engagement in print and digital. Cox Media Group presented an idea to launch an advertising package to coincide with the 2013 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. Set to launch in March, the package includes a print media component, videos, bracket contests, sponsorships, and interactive features.
“At Cox Media Group, we have done initiatives like this in the past,” said Micah Beatty, manager of strategic digital partnerships. “It’s not new to us, but we wanted to bring the idea from Cox to the other media companies … with this specific package, any media partner can partner with an advertiser.”
Beatty said although the other media companies are competing for many of the same advertisers, it’s a more efficient way to execute the campaign with others. “We’re doing this with the advertisers in mind,” he said.
Tomlinson said the message behind the Blue Sky Collective is to help newspapers look into what the next big thing will be and collaborate to find solutions. “It shows that newspapers are thriving, working together, and willing to meet. They’re not afraid of change or technology,” she said.
Beatty added that advertisers would find it “refreshing” to see media companies working together.
The group’s next meeting is this month at the Cox Media Group offices in Atlanta.