Examiner coming to L.A.

Philip Anschutz could import his Examiner chain of local give-away newspapers to Los Angeles by the end of the year, according to Media Life, citing "a newspaper industry source familiar with the growth plans of parent Clarity Media Group."

The Los Angeles Examiner would directly challenge the foundering Los Angeles Times, owned by Tribune Co.

Clarity has trademarked the Examiner name in 69 markets, and it's said it plans several additional launches in the near future, but chain executives decline to confirm or deny that it is working to launch in Los Angeles by year's end.

“We do have expansion plans, but I am not prepared to comment now on any specific market launches,” Mark Wurzer, chief marketing officer for Clarity Media Group, tells Media Life. “All I can say is that we have growth plans, but I can’t give you a time frame.”

Media buyers in Los Angeles say they would welcome the Examiner as competition to the beleaguered Los Angeles Times.

“It could be a good time for the Examiner to break through and fill the gap the LA Times is leaving,” Adam Block, a print media buyer at Initiative Media North America in Los Angeles, tells Media Life.

“From a buying standpoint we would certainly use that leverage. Past history has proven that free dailies put pressure in the market, and we would expect that to happen here.”

Media Life says the Examiner model in Baltimore and San Francisco is to deliver local stories aimed at busy women as the key household decision-makers, "offering advertisers rates a third or half of those charged by the existing newspaper."

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