Workforce.com

Job Board Deal Gives Monster a Philly Stake

July 26, 2006
Monster and Philadelphia Media Holdings—the new proprietor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and philly.com—are joining forces and launching a co-branded job search and recruitment Web site. The partnership effectively severs ties that Philadelphia Media Holdings had with job board titan CareerBuilder. Both of those companies had been linked with the McClatchy Co.

The genesis of Philadelphia Media Holdings came after McClatchy agreed to sell a group of Knight Ridder publishing properties to a team of investors earlier in the year. Meanwhile, CareerBuilder is owned by a consortium of newspaper companies that include McClatchy, Gannett and the Tribune Co. Under the McClatchy umbrella, the entities had been working in tandem on classified advertising efforts.

The two will officially go their separate ways August 14. That is when Philadelphia Media Holdings and Monster’s co-branded Web site goes live, according to Brian Tierney, chairman and CEO of Philadelphia Media Holdings.

"We had the option to stay with CareerBuilder or to go with any other job board in the market," Tierney says. "At the end of the day, we decided on Monster because it offers the most powerful brand and great customer services." Calls to CareerBuilder were not returned by deadline for this article.

The deal, which took less than two months to iron out, is the first of its kind for Monster. The company decided to partner with Philadelphia Media Holdings because of its vast reach in the local market and strong brand, according to Douglas Klinger, president of Monster North America. The publisher enjoys daily newspaper circulation of 500,000, and its Web site, philly.com, receives 2 million unique monthly visitors.

Monster, based in Maynard, Massachusetts, anticipates the partnership will advance its strategy of growing the brand through diversification into multiple channels of distribution, Klinger says. Recently, Monster launched a channel geared to professionals in the marketing industry.

"The move speaks volumes about which job board is perceived to have the higher quality and brand," says Jim Janesky, managing director of research at Ryan Beck & Co., an investment bank and brokerage firm based in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Philadelphia Media Holdings hopes the alliance will help to expand its base of revenue. From the looks of things, it appears that other publishing organizations with similar aspirations may soon follow in its footsteps. Jody Lodovic, president of MediaNews Group, a privately held newspaper publisher, recently announced that the company is in talks with Yahoo HotJobs about forging a cooperative relationship in the arena of online classified advertising.

MediaNews has agreed to buy four newspapers from McClatchy, which means if the relationship between MediaNews and Yahoo HotJobs comes to fruition, it may also represent a loss for CareerBuilder. Janesky, however, does not anticipate a mass exodus from CareerBuilder, particularly because dozens of newspapers remain inextricably tied to that job board.

The portal philly.com/monster will offer job seekers and recruiters the same features that are available through the Monster Web site, including online career advice, access to broad databases and the ability to post jobs. The difference is that the content will be geographically specific.

"We already have a brand that is well-recognized and big," Klinger says. "What we hope to accomplish with this project is to localize and personalize our brand."

For now, Monster’s primary focus is ensuring that its partnership with Philadelphia Media Holdings is prosperous. The company, however, is constantly on the prowl for other opportunistic ventures, according to Klinger.

--Gina Ruiz