From NetNewsCheck

Newspapers can bridge the gap between their falling print revenue and their slow-to-grow digital ad revenue by diversifying their businesses, two prominent publishers said on Wednesday.

“I do believe that digital advertising is absolutely essential for a newspaper company to go after,” but it’s still not enough to curb losses from print, said Jim Moroney, publisher and CEO of The Dallas Morning News at the ILM West conference here.

Moroney’s own solution at his newspaper has been to spawn a cluster of vertical businesses including two — 508 Digital and Speakeasy — targeting digital marketing services to SMBs and larger businesses, respectively.

Not that the path there will be easy, he acknowledged. Those new companies, launched earlier this year, join a local field already crowded with Yodle, ReachLocal, SuperMedia and YellowPages.com already playing in the SMB services space.

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