Baltimore meeting sets standards

BALTIMORE (CNS) — Editors of 27 Catholic publications agreed on standard sizing and pricing for national and regional advertising on Internet sites at a December meeting in Baltimore.

“We must have one foot in print, one in pixels,” said Daniel Medinger, co-host of the meeting. Medinger is associate publisher of the Catholic Review, Baltimore archdiocesan newspaper, and president of Advertising Media Plus — AMPs — a national advertising agency that specializes in ad placement in Catholic publications.

Also hosting the meeting was Catholic Online, one of the leading Web sites of Catholic news in the United States.

Tom Conway, new executive director of the Catholic Press Association, attended the meeting, along with representatives of 25 other diocesan newspapers and a national Catholic publisher, St. Anthony Messenger Press.

“This was a historic meeting,” Medinger said. “For the first time, we have a plan for standard sizes and prices for (advertising on) Catholic media on the Internet. We now have the opportunity to solicit major national advertisers who will help ‘monetize’ our Web sites.”

Medinger told the gathered editors that the main purpose of a Web presence by Catholic publications is to extend the church’s influence.

Michael Galloway, founder and president of Catholic Online, said the key to Internet communications is “aggregation to create a large enough mass of media organizations to have real clout.”

Forming an online advertising network of Catholic publications “moves us much closer to that goal,” he said.

Chic Davis, AMPs executive vice president, said that if diocesan newspapers adapt to the Internet, it will supplement them, not replace them.

“Sixty years ago our grandparents sat around a room similar to this and bemoaned the coming of television, afraid that the new medium would take away all of our Catholic press readers,” he said.

“Television didn’t take our readers then and the new Internet medium will not take them now,” he said. “Avid news consumers look for news wherever they can find it. … We do have to adapt to this new medium, however, and make sure that we use it to our best advantage.”

The editors recommended that Catholic media on the Internet adopt three standard sizes of Web ads: a large rectangle of 340 by 280 pixels, a wide skyscraper at 160 by 600 pixels, and a leader board of 728 by 90 pixels. Internet advertisers will be more open to diocesan Web sites that meet those industry standards, they said.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.