Groupon gains mainstream media foothold with McClatchy deal

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Chicago-based startup Groupon, Inc. announced Friday that it had signed a deal with The McClatchy Co. to bring its own brand of hyper-local advertising to the newspaper giant’s Web sites.

Groupon serves up steep daily discounts from local businesses that can only be redeemed if a certain number of users opt in to them. The wildly popular model has attracted $170 million in venture funding since Groupon’s creation by entrepreneur Andrew Mason two years ago.

The deal with McClatchy, the third largest U.S. newspaper publisher, which owns marquees such as The Sacramento Bee, The Kansas City Star, and The Charlotte Observer, gives the Groupon its first foothold in the main stream media marketplace.

“Providing merchants with major alternative channels to run deals is vital,” said Groupon VP of business development Sean Smyth in a statement.

Daily Groupon deals will begin appearing first on McClatchy sites aimed at Sacramento and Kansas City. Other regions will follow over the next several months, the company said. The deals will be different from those offered on the company’s flagship site, Groupon.com.

Smyth labeled McClatchy as an “ideal” partner, and said that Groupon was seeking similar partnerships with other publishers.

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