Media Blog

A Possible Savior for Newspapers?

Wal-Mart and a tech start-up called “Oodle”:

Wal-Mart doesn’t know it yet, but it may be the savior that local newspapers have been praying for. The big-box retailer launched a new service without any fanfare last month and dubbed it Wal-Mart Classifieds. It slunk into WalMart.com’s left navigation bar, where it still sits inconspicuously—a dozen links from the top of the page without a hint of its brand-new status or its potential power. Its promise is well-hidden; as of now, Wal-Mart Classifieds is a clunky marketplace with spotty listings and a poorly designed interface. But its sorry debut doesn’t have to remain its destiny. Wal-Mart can use the tool to liberate newspaper balance sheets from Craigslist—the misunderstood villain of the classified industry.

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