Talks are reportedly underway between a number of publishers in the United States to develop a national online advertising network.

Gannett and Tribune are discussing the possibility of creating the alliance with Cox Newspapers, Hearst, and MediaNews Group, three groups that already have a deal in place with Internet giant Yahoo! which would complement any new deal.

Under the proposals, the national network would enable national advertisers to purchase ad space across a range of national publications’ websites. Gannett and Tribune own the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and other publications, both online and offline.

Gannett and Tribune are expected to brief members of the Yahoo! group soon and continue negotiations with publishers about how a new national online advertising network would be governed.

Comprising 19 publishers representing around 400 daily newspapers, the Yahoo! newspaper consortium sells adverts on partner sites.

The online advertising market has been growing rapidly in recent years, with some of the world’s biggest print companies entering the sector. eMarketer predicts that spending by US newspaper and magazine publishers on advertising their print and online brands will soar by 2011.

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