Extraordinary to see Monster's recent deal with four more US newspapers trumpeted in the press as "Monster adds key newspapers" (DMW).
Google's deal with 50 newspapers at the start of last month (MarketWatch) - including the Washington Post and New York Times - looked like a partership of sorts, a deal between the clear leaders in two media categories. A deal between beleagured Yahoo! (GigaOm) and seven newspaper publishers (NYT) at least created scale, covering 176 newspapers in 38 states with more than a quarter of US newspaper circulation, but was ultimately an alliance of the runners-up from the worlds of print and digital.
Monster's alliance with the print world is more trivial still. Originally Monster laid claim to a deal with three publishers controlling between them four papers, but these were four papers with a combined circulation around the one million mark or 2% of the US total with much of that controlled by the Philly Inquirer. All of the papers in Monster's first round of deals were united by having been bought from Knight Ridder by McClatchy and then sold on again, mainly to private equity - newspapers, in other words, in three territories that failed to meet McClatchy's requirements for forecast demographic growth.
Now there is much fuss in the press about Monster now having eight TV stations and 43 newspapers on board. In fact Monster has signed up another three extremely minor publishers. Freedom Communications Inc., a privately held libertarian media company in California whose flagship newspaper is The Orange County Register is the main one in this new round and contributes all of the eight TV stations and most of the 43 newspapers. Freedom's flagship paper, the Register itself claims a 302,110 daily circulation and on Sunday 367,627: not trivial, but no great advance on the Inquirer's 331k (Philly.com).
Monster is sprinting to catch up with both the successful alignment between CareerBuilder and its three newspaper owners, and now with Yahoo!'s HotJobs land-grab. It isn't clear from its excitement at securing such minor deals that there are many more avenues left for it to explore.