Gannett in Tampa just launched 40 hyper-local websites, supported by WTSP-TV News 10. In theory, that’s a good thing….since hyper-local is hot.

But in reality, this move is quite questionable for Gannett local television.

Why?

The GM of 10 News allows their hyper-local vendor (DataSphere) to use a Seattle based phone room to cold call Tampa business owners. These tele-sales folks use the call letters of WTSP (trusted, local media brand) to close the deal.

Translation: distant tech company is building relationships with the life blood of Tampa broadcast operation: local business advertisers. Local WTSP sales reps might get a bit ruffled by this.

Outsourcing local sales is rarely a smart move. Especially when it’s to a bunch of young kids with DataSphere email addresses.  See where the questionable WTSP move used to be. Below is actual page before being taken down.

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