YP CEO Discusses Decision to Separate Digital & Print Businesses

This week YP announced plans to separate its digital advertising and print directory businesses into two independently operated companies: YP and the newly formed Print Media LLC.  Given the many operational differences between the two sides of the house, the separation allows for an increased focus on both pieces of the business.

Print Media LLC will package, publish and distribute print directories while YP continues to sell digital and print based local search, presence management, direct marketing and display advertising. The release went on to say that both companies will leverage the YP sales organization.

This year at the LSA 15 Conference we learned about YP’s evolving brand and consumer marketing campaigns. While this latest news is more operationally focused, I spoke with David Krantz, CEO at YP, to see how the change fits in with the overall corporate strategy.

“My job is to increase the overall value of the enterprise,” said Krantz. “This change makes us more focused and competitive from a go-to market perspective and will make for a more valuable company in the long run.”

Here are some other summarized points I took away from our conversation:

  • Print Media LLC will have a separate management team and board, and will continue to be owned by Cerberus Capital Management and AT&T. Jack Freker will be CEO of Print Media LLC.
  • Print Media LLC and YP will be roughly the same size from a revenue perspective at inception. YP will have the vast majority of the staff. Print Media LLC will have a couple hundred staff and rely on extensive outsource relationships. One of those outsource relationships is a Sales Agency relationship with YP.
  • At inception, very little will change from an external perspective. A license agreement will keep the YP brand on directories and the same YP salesforce will call on SMBs.
  • The plan for Print Media LLC is that distinct leadership and focus will bring more value to, and extend the lifecycle of, print directories.
  • Examples of print innovations on the horizon include: changing fonts,  reducing columns and simplifying ad formats.
  • Revenues for print and digital solutions will be allocated based on product type and tracked accordingly between the two companies.
  • YP will continue its path as a digital focused company, but with the additional economic value provided by print sales commissions.

“We’re continuing to sharpen our focus,” said Krantz, “and we are building the leading marketing solutions provider for small businesses.”

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One Response

  1. Yellow Pages is always print in the minds of consumers. Yellow Search is the key to making the conversion from print to digital. Everyone associates Yellow with Local Business, and everyone associates Search Engines with Digital. Until the Yellow Search macro term is married and used by Yellow Pages, the digital side will not have true value in today’s and tomorrow’s world.

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