SBJ/October 1-7, 2012/Media

USA Today Sports Pulse adds to local sites

USA Today Sports this week is beginning a broad rollout of USA Today Sports Pulse, an online syndication strategy delivering national content to its battery of more than 100 Gannett Co. local newspaper and TV station websites.

The new content strategy will provide sports material from USA Today,

Sports On Earth, The Big Lead, MMAJunkie.com and other flagship destinations to the local markets, attempting a digital integration envisioned over the last two years by Gannett Co. executives. As Gannett has reshaped USA Today and its related properties into a more digitally focused news operation and recently introduced a new branding concept for the 30-year-old newspaper, greater interplay between national and local news outlets has been a key company priority.

Stories appearing within the USA Today Sports Pulse will be selected on several criteria, including relevance to local markets, online consumption data and the amount of social media sharing. Material will include photo galleries and video in addition to text content. The effort was beta tested in five individual Gannett markets over the summer before this week’s broad rollout.

“Putting national with local and local with national we think makes a lot of sense,” said Dave Morgan, USA Today Sports senior vice president of content and editor-in-chief. “One of the biggest assets and biggest levers we have is this vast reach of distribution in our portfolio, and the Pulse is a key element in leveraging that.”

Eventually, USA Today Sports executives intend to syndicate the Pulse to non-Gannett properties.

Bleacher Report content has been syndicated previously in USA Today, but that distribution will cease with the introduction of the Pulse.

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