PowerOne Media, formed by the merger of AdOne and PowerAdz in 1999, was poised to be the small papers’ Classified Ventures. But PowerOne Media was beset by tech problems, management problems and tough competition from the likes of Adicio (CareerCast), HarvestInfo, Morris Digital Works and TownNews. It also suffered from the internal conflicts and usual lack of commitment of its owners.
What to do? For the newspaper owners, Option A was to reinvest in PowerOne. Option B was to take it to the chop shop, extracting whatever value it could.
By last summer, it seemed fairly obvious that Option B was the owners’ route. Finally, on Feb.15, PowerOne announced it was selling off its Zwire portal, national advertising, Adquest and Yellow Pages units to TownNews, the small paper vendor that is 83 percent owned by Lee Enterprises.