CHICO — Travidia, an Internet marketing company created in Chico, has been sold to a consortium of eight media and publishing companies, including the parent company of the Chico Enterprise-Record, Oroville Mercury-Register and Paradise Post.
In a press announcement Thursday, the media consortium announced the purchase of the Chico company, which is based at the Chico Municipal Airport business park.
“We”re looking at changing the online shopping idea for newspapers,” Travidia CEO Rand Hutchison told the Enterprise-Record on Thursday.
“Travidia is the same California company, we just report to a different master.”
Hutchison said there are no plans to change anything. “It”s business as usual.”
Travidia, which employs about 80, has offices in Chico and Roseville, the latter about four years old and designed to tap the Sacramento area technology workforce. The consortium that purchased Travidia includes Advance Digital, A.H. Belo Corp., Cox Media Group, Gannett Co., Inc., Hearst Corp., MediaNews Group, The McClatchy Co. and The Washington Post Co.
The consortium also announced the formation of a joint venture in connection with the launch of a common online shopping platform to help advertisers reach consumers. The consortium values a Travidia product called “Find n Save,” which will provide a full-service shopping platform for the local media affiliates. The Find n Save product helps newspapers create “daily digital deals” for promotion on the Internet.
“This will be the local place to go shopping,” Hutchison said of the platform.
Christopher Tippie, the founding executive director of the Yahoo! Newspaper Consortium, will serve as acting CEO of the new joint venture, and the new company will adopt the Find n Save brand, according to a press release.
“This initiative among the country”s leading media companies and publishing brands provides advertisers a unique opportunity to reach consumers through a simplified and standardized advertising platform,” said Tippie, who, as managing partner at Maroon Partners, LLC, served as consultant to the effort. “Advertisers can target audiences across participating local newspaper markets through digital display ads or with digital circulars.
“By leveraging the existing expertise of Travidia, we are able to offer our local and national clients a consistent, easy-to-deploy advertising solution.”
Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
According to the press release, advertisers will be able to reach 19 of the top 50 local markets, and the new company plans to add another 21 of the top 50 local markets within the next four weeks.
“Find n Save affiliation is available to any local daily newspaper in the United States. By the end of 2012, Find n Save will be in place at an estimated 250 newspapers. By the end of 2013, an estimated 400 newspapers are expected to be Find n Save affiliates,” the press release noted.
Discussions also are under way with other media companies that have expressed interest in joining this venture.