Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp. would seem to be a great contender for driving the local Internet. The Fox TV stations , in particular, have local reach across the U.S., and could theoretically anchor all manner of online and offline promotional and directional advertising. They could sell it, too.
Riding the fringes of any TV efforts would be Newscorp.’s opportunistic assemblage of Internet sites. MySpace, for instance, is being positioned as a teenage Craig’s List, with city-by-city ads focused on wheels, guitar amps, and housing. Scout.com has a different kind of potential, and is currently seeking to sell local online advertising for its network of high school sports sites.
The present reality, however, is that Newscorp. barely registers in local – and the problem starts with its inability to lasso the TV stations, including both its affiliates and owned- and-operateds. This was really brought home last week, when Newscorp. announced that it would quell affiliate concerns that their local TV audience would be undermined by Fox’s direct sale of programs over the Internet.