AAN-CAN Committee to Meet at AAN West

Interested AAN Members Encouraged to Attend.

As we reported last month, AAN Marketing Director Adam Ebbin is investigating the possibility of establishing an AAN Classified Advertising Network (“AAN-CAN”). An association-wide classified network would allow advertisers — such as resorts, franchisers and debt refinancing companies — to place a classified ad that would run simultaneously in all AAN papers, or possibly a regional group.

An AAN-CAN committee will meet on Friday, Jan. 29 at the AAN West conference in San Francisco. Classified managers, publishers and business managers are invited to attend the meeting to provide input and to learn more about the potential program.

Last month, Ebbin and Cincinnati CityBeat Co-publisher Dan Bockrath attended a meeting of state press association executives in Erlanger, Kentucky focusing on classified ad networks. More than 45 state and national press associations already operate fully-functional classified networks, with some grossing in excess of a million dollars annually.

“It was very helpful to learn how state classified networks are working and to get their insight,” says Ebbin. “If we move ahead, we won’t have to reinvent the wheel.”

The income generated from an AAN-CAN could benefit the membership with improved services, lower dues or cash rebates. A generous commission structure would compensate selling papers.

The annual meeting in Memphis on May 29 will present the first opportunity AAN members will have to approve the formation of an AAN-CAN. Ebbin stresses that the active participation of many individuals will be required in order to move forward.

“It is vital that we get lots of input from AAN members,” he says. “The program won’t work unless we make the ads easy for classified staffs to run, and we need the benefit of our papers’ experience to make that happen.”

The following individuals have already expressed interest in serving on the AAN-CAN Committee: Melissa Baker (Chicago NewCity), Dan Bockrath (Cincinnati CityBeat ), Sean Flaherty (Seattle Weekly ), Penelope Huston (Memphis Flyer ), Russ Martineau (Willamette Week ), Cassi Schaffer-McNally (In Pittsburgh Newsweekly ), Glenn Severance (Seven Days ), Bill Towler (City Newspaper) and Jeff vonKaenel (News & Review Newspapers).

Even those who can’t attend the AAN West meeting are welcome to serve on the committee and participate by phone and fax.

If you are interested in serving on the committee, please e-mail Adam Ebbin (adame@intr.net) or call him at the AAN office at 202/822-1955.