Tribune Invests in Online Coupons

One of the nation’s most well-known media companies is getting into online coupons. Tribune Ventures, the strategic investment unit of Tribune, (NYSE: TRB) announced Thursday that it has invested in SuperMarkets Online.

SuperMarkets Online’s ValuPage service offers online coupons that are accepted at more than 9,000 grocery stories in the United States. Consumers who use the service can save more than $40 each week on product offers from more than 45 packaged goods manufacturers.

“We look for Internet companies that push the traditional media envelope,” said Andy Oleszczuk, president of Tribune Ventures. “With SuperMarkets Online, we see a company that represents the future of consumer packaged goods promotion and helps our traditional media properties better serve the needs of our consumers and food advertisers.”

Synergy for Tribune’s Food Investments?

The deal makes sense for Tribune because it could lead to synergy among the company’s investments. Tribune Ventures also has equity in, a restaurant guide that lets consumers order meals online. Tribune Broadcasting has an ownership stake in the TV Food network.

Tribune’s network of Web sites, which includes newspaper sites and America Online Digital City sites, could certainly promote the company’s food presence.

About Tribune

Tribune publishes four newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and Fort-Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Its broadcast holdings include the WGN Superstation and 17 local television stations in major markets. Tribune also owns a minority stake in the WB television network, owns and operates four radio stations, syndicates television programming and owns the Chicago Cubs. In addition, the company has minority stakes in several Internet companies, including America Online and Excite, where Tribune was an early investor.

About SuperMarkets Online

SuperMarkets Online is owned by Catalina Marketing Corporation. (NYSE: POS). Catalina provides a network of marketing programs to more than 150 consumer goods companies. Catalina’s marketing network reaches more than 156 million shoppers at some 11,800 supermarkets in the United States each week.

“The idea of pairing the targeted capabilities of our online promotions with the enormous reach of media like television, print and radio is exciting for us, as well as for our retail partners and our consumer packaged goods clients,” said Dan Granger, president and CEO of Catalina Marketing.

Stock Watch

Shares of Tribune closed up 3-3/4 to 76-7/16 after the news on Thursday. Catalina Marketing stock climbed 1/4 to 91.

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