Short on time? Here’s the Bottom Line!
Please note that this article was written prior to Local Na8ion’s re-launch and as such the content may not be relevant for today’s audience of local marketers.
In a report filed by MediaPost today Verizon is apparently mulling the sale of their print and online Yellow Pages division — Superpages. According to the article Neal Polachek, Kelsey Group Analyst, and my former colleague at Pacific Bell Directory, says that if the move follows what happened with Bell Canada that it will open up the strategic direction of the company. When I worked at Pacific Bell Directory, and later SBC once they acquired PBD, it was a pretty common annual rumor that Bell was going to sell off the directory unit and stick to it’s knitting of telecommunications. Every time this came up they looked at the 70% profit margins and multi-billion dollar revenue line and decided it was worth keeping around for a few more years! Who could blame them? But, the danger of holding, as in Poker, is knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. Will Verizon get the value they want out of the business now that print Yellow Pages has moved closer to their ultimate demise?
Is the old SBC, now AT&T, looking to complete the merging of Baby Bells? Who cares? Well, one point of interest is if they hold the print and online products together or sell them separately. Do you get more money for online in a split play? I’d say the whole thing certainly would open the door for YellowPages.com to buy Superpages.com and finally have one cohesive online directory product for the nation. Not that Localna8ion thinks YellowPages.com strategy makes any sense in the context for today’s Internet user, but at least they could realize whatever potential exists in the Yellow Pages analogy online. Would the combined print and online operation for Superpages.com be of interest to Google or Yahoo!? Probably not, but it’s fun to speculate about!