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MTV Now Owns A Bunch Of College Newspaper Sites' Domains

Sorry I didn't hit on this earlier this month when this news first hit, but I've been busy.

Many years ago, I worked for a company that provided an online content management system for folks. When we started taking on a ton of college newspaper clients, we spun those of into another company that eventually became another company who then sold management of over a hundred of its college newspaper clients to another company (long after I left there).

The thing is that now, the parent company of that other company has been bought out (official press release) by MTVU, an MTV Networks-owned channel geared toward college students. While this would be fine and dandy, from the little bit I know about College Publisher, I know it registered a lot of the domains in their own name, meaning that the domains for many of these sites are now the property MTV/Viacom.

For example, the Oregon Daily Emerald, where I spent many years and was in charge of the original registration for that domain, now has an MTV-owned domain. When they agreed to let College Publisher take over ownership of their domain, I have no idea, as it certainly wasn't that way when I set it all up years ago. Update at 10:40: Just got an email from the advisor at the Emerald after I pointed this out to her (she's an old friend of mine), and they said that when they signed up for College Publisher, they made sure there was a clause to make sure domain registration could be change into their name. The change to their name never happened, so she called College Publisher, who said it would be changed later this week. If any of you have similar clauses in your contract, I'd make a phone call.

Update at 11:30: Got this off the College Media Advisor's Listserve. This is from some folks at College Publisher. I'm starting to understand their reasoning for why they do what they do, but I still wouldn't feel comfortable with this:

All we ask of newspapers is that our technology team be able to operate the domain name record as the technical contact of the domain name. We ask this so that we can make emergency DNS changes (if needed), among other important technical changes. I'll give an example: in 2003, a backhoe hit several T-1 lines that connected to our datacenter during construction related to Boston's Big Dig. We had our servers up in another data center very quickly, but we had to change all the DNS records for the sites on our network on the fly, so that newspaper sites would resolve again. Because we managed so many of the domains on our network, we were able to successfully and quickly execute on this. In addition, "ownership" is not something of great relevance to us. We generally pay for domain name renewals whether we are the owner (administrator) or the technical contact, so ownership is not a prerequisite for our willingness to pay the year fee. It is also not a prerequisite that we own the domain name in order for a newspaper to join the network -- we work with plenty of newspapers that own their own domain name.

There is no nefarious plot here, and as someone who is technically inclined, I'm sure you know how common it is for hosting/technology providers to be domain name administrators and technical contacts. In the rare occasion that a newspaper has left our network, we have transferred their domain over to them, no questions asked. We view ourselves as stewards of both the newspaper's domain name and their online content, for the duration of our relationship with the given paper. I can't tell you how many times student webmasters have gone on summer vacation, and domain renewals are allowed to lapse. This preference is the result of first-hand experiences we've had over the years in this market.

It would obviously be very stupid for MTV/Viacom to try anything with these domains, and I doubt they would. I just know I'd sleep better at night if my domain wasn't owned by a billion dollar corporation.

From my few minutes of investigating (I have a day job, folks), it appears that most of the MTV-owned domains are the ones that are on College Publisher servers. For the most part, the domains that are on the ispi/Digital Partners/New Digitial Group web site are registered to the client, not to the service provider. And obviously many of the domains below are not part of this deal, as I do know that New Digital Group works with sites other than college newspapers. But for the most part, if MTV now owns a domain, it's one of the domains on the College Publisher servers.

Obviously there are exceptions to that rule, as there are several sites on the College Publisher servers that are owned by the client and there are a few sites on the Digital Partners/New Digital Group server that are owned by the service provider. I do know that when I worked at ispi/NDG/DP that it was our practice to register the domains in the client's name, not ours (that was one thing we actually used in our sales materials, as our competitors did the opposite).

Below are the domains that I came up with via DomainTools that (as of right now) are hosted on the two main Web servers for each company. If anybody wants to go through them and see who owns what, knock yourself out.

On one of College Publisher Servers (Update: Here's another server with College Publisher's sites):
1. aboveunderground.com
2. accentadvocate.com
3. alcornchronicle.com
4. asuherald.com
5. asuphoenix.com
6. avionnewspaper.com
7. babsonbusinessjournal.com
8. beaconnewspaper.com
9. bsudailynews.com
10. bucks-news.com
11. californiaaggie.com
12. campuschronicle.net
13. capahaarrow.com
14. centralmania.com
15. colgateforum.com
16. concordy.com
17. cpstaging3.com
18. cpstaging6.com
19. cpstaging9.com
20. crcconnection.com
21. csucauldron.com
22. cuatower.com
23. dailycollegian.com
24. dailyemerald.com
25. dailyfreepress.com
26. dailygamecock.com
27. dailyhelmsman.com
28. dailyillini-test.com
29. dailylobo.com
30. dailynebraskan.com
31. dailynorthwestern.com
32. dailysundial.com
33. dailytarheel.com
34. dailyvidette.com
35. dailyvidette.org
36. drurymirror.com
37. dthonline.com
38. easternstatesman.com
39. elmhurstleader.com
40. emorywheel.com
41. emorywheel.org
42. equinoxnews.com
43. fordhamlefthook.com
44. gccompass.com
45. gccvoice.com
46. gwupilot.com
47. harbus.org
48. hartfordinformer.com
49. hbucollegian.com
50. isubengal.com
51. jacconline.org
52. keeneequinox.com
53. kirkwoodcommunique.com
54. knightnewsonline.com
55. ksusentinel.com
56. lanternonline.com
57. lavozdeanza.com
58. lbccvikingnews.com
59. leprovoc.com
60. logosmagazine.com
61. longviewcurrent.com
62. loyolamaroon.com
63. lslonline.net
64. lsureveille.com
65. lugazette.com
66. mainecampus.com
67. maristcircle.com
68. maroon-news.com
69. matctimes.com
70. mcctartan.net
71. mcgilltribune.com
72. mediaethicsmagazine.com
73. merrimackbeacon.com
74. miamiamusement.com
75. minoritytoday.com
76. mirrornewsonline.net
77. missouri-miner.com
78. mtsusidelines.com
79. muhlenbergweekly.com
80. mustangdaily.net
81. navigatornews.org
82. ndmcolumns.com
83. newsrecord.org
84. nineronline.com
85. nsucurrent.com
86. nu-news.com
87. outlookpress.org
88. oxnardcollegeobserver.com
89. pacertimes.com
90. pcbuc.com
91. pclionsroar.com
92. pirateslog.org
93. ppqonline.org
94. psucollegio.com
95. pucchronicle.com
96. pvpanther.com
97. quadrangleonline.com
98. ramcigar.com
99. rockhurstsentinel.com
100. saintanselmcrier.com
101. sanmatean.com
102. sbvcarrowhead.com
103. sjuhawknews.com
104. sjulawforum.com
105. slccglobelink.com
106. slulionspride.com
107. smccorsair.com
108. smithsophian.com
109. sternopportunity.com
110. studentpressreview.com
111. suffolkjournal.net
112. svcreview.com
113. testcp11.com
114. testcp12.com
115. testcp13.com
116. testcp14.com
117. testcp15.com
118. testcp16.com
119. testcp17.com
120. testcp18.com
121. testcp19.com
122. testcp20.com
123. testcp31.com
124. testcp34.com
125. testcp37.com
126. testcp40.com
127. texasbusinessweekly.com
128. the-standard.org
129. the-telescope.com
130. thecaupanther.com
131. theclariononline.com
132. theclockonline.com
133. thecoraddi.com
134. thedailyaztec.com
135. theemorywheel.com
136. thefamuanonline.com
137. theguardianonline.com
138. thehamiltonherald.com
139. thehilltoponline.com
140. thehornettribune.com
141. theimpactnews.com
142. theimpactonline.com
143. thejambar.com
144. thejusticeonline.com
145. themontclarion.org
146. themuleskinner.com
147. thencccommuter.org
148. thenews.org
149. thenewsargus.com
150. thenortherner.com
151. thepolitic.org
152. theprospector.org
153. thequindecim.com
154. therip.com
155. theseahawk.com
156. theseahawk.org
157. thespartandaily.com
158. thesuffolkvoice.net
159. thetalon-online.com
160. theticker.org
161. thetoweronline.com
162. thetrident.org
163. thewestgeorgian.com
164. tnsoxford.com
165. trinity-times.com
166. trinitytripod.com
167. uahexponent.com
168. udallasnews.com
169. unews.com
170. unewsonline.com
171. universityindependent.com
172. uscspartanburg.com
173. usfbusinessquarterly.com
174. usforacle.com
175. usishield.com
176. ustcauldron.org
177. utdmercury.com
178. uwtledger.com
179. venturacollegepress.com
180. wcuquad.com
181. westernfrontonline.com
182. wkuherald.com
183. wucollegian.com
184. yucommentator.com


Still on Digital Partners Servers:
1. 34st.com
2. acuoptimist.com
3. ameseats.com
4. asurampage.com
5. asustudentvoice.com
6. bccanews.org
7. bctigernews.com
8. beachandbaypress.com
9. blackcollegeview.com
10. blackcollegeviewonline.com
11. bmtech-uk.com
12. brooklynexcelsior.com
13. chattanoogapulse.com
14. choralworld.net
15. collegelifedaily.com
16. collegelifedaily.net
17. collegelifedaily.org
18. crimsonwhiteonline.com
19. crusaderonline.com
20. dailybarometer.com
21. dailypennsylvanian.com
22. dailyvanguard.com
23. davidcityumc.org
24. delawaretroopers.org
25. diamondbackonline.com
26. digitalpartners.com
27. dpalumni.com
28. drewacorn.com
29. ducourtbouillon.com
30. easterneronline.com
31. ecollegetimes.com
32. ecomplete.com
33. elvaq.com
34. entertainmentmanagementonline.com
35. fsunews.com
36. fsview.com
37. genevaumc.net
38. gothenburgtimes.com
39. hahnforgovernor.com
40. hahnfornebraska.com
41. hahnfornebraska.net
42. hahnfornebraska.org
43. hsuoracle.com
44. huskerdeals.com
45. huskernews.com
46. ispi.net
47. jhunewsletter.com
48. jsuflash.com
49. jubilee-ocs.com
50. kaleo.org
51. lajollavillagenews.com
52. landinstitute.com
53. landinstitute.net
54. landinstitute.org
55. livinglincoln.com
56. livinlincoln.com
57. louisvillecardinal.com
58. luclarion.com
59. midwestlivestock.com
60. millsweekly.com
61. msureporter.com
62. mypembrokeshire.com
63. ncatregister.org
64. ndvsac.org
65. netroopers.org
66. northcreekneighborhood.com
67. ntctroopers.com
68. nyunews.com
69. oberonentertainment.com
70. oudaily.com
71. paisano-online.com
72. peninsulabeacon.com
73. randb.com
74. rdhdance.com
75. rdhdance.org
76. reflector-online.com
77. regishighlander.com
78. reportermag.com
79. riponcollegedays.com
80. samagama.com
81. sandiegodowntownnews.com
82. sdnews.com
83. seminolechronicle.com
84. southerndigest.com
85. southpointecc.org
86. spectator-online.com
87. statepaper.com
88. surgicalimages.com
89. thecahp.net
90. thecahp.org
91. thedailyonline.com
92. thedragon.biz
93. theeastcarolinian.com
94. theemzone.com
95. thegramblinite.com
96. thegwpatriot.com
97. thehornettribune.net
98. thehullabaloo.com
99. thejohnsonian.com
100. thenorthernlight.org
101. thepinelog.com
102. theplainsman.com
103. theracquet.net
104. thesimpsonian.com
105. thevoyager.net
106. tigersroar.com
107. tsumeter.com
108. ucfindependent.com
109. ucgoldentrianglenews.com
110. ugatoday.com
111. umcgeneva.org
112. umcneb.org
113. uncmirror.com
114. unogateway.com
115. unoprivateer.com
116. usarollersports.com
117. usarollersports.net
118. usarollersports.org
119. usavanguard.com
120. vacaesrey.com
121. vanderbiltorbis.com
122. yuobserver.com
123. newsnetnebraska.org

Update: Thanks to Bryan M.'s comment, I've found another server for College Publisher that hosts a bunch of their sites:
1. americanjurist.net
2. bandmonline.com
3. baruchgradvoice.com
4. bcheights.com
5. bennettbanner.com
6. bentleyvanguard.com
7. berkeleybeacon.com
8. bgnews.com
9. blackvoicesonline.com
10. brockpress.com
11. browndailyherald.com
12. bsccomment.com
13. campustimes.org
14. cardozoinsider.com
15. carolinianonline.com
16. cccangle.com
17. cerritosjournalism.com
18. chaffeybreeze.com
19. claremontindependent.com
20. collegemedianetwork.com
21. collegian.com
22. commonwealthtimes.com
23. coyotepressonline.com
24. cpnewslink.com
25. cpstaging1.com
26. cpstaging10.com
27. cpstaging4.com
28. cpstaging7.com
29. critograph.com
30. currentsauce.com
31. cybersilhouette.com
32. daily49er.com
33. dailyorange.com
34. dailyskiff.com
35. dailytargum.com
36. dailytitan.com
37. dailytrojan.com
38. dakotastudent.com
39. dastoronline.com
40. districtchronicles.com
41. docketonline.com
42. easttennessean.com
43. ecorsair.com
44. enmuthechase.com
45. eraunews.com
46. gcsunade.com
47. gonzagabulletin.com
48. gonzagawitness.com
49. gsusignal.com
50. guilfordian.com
51. gwhatchet.com
52. highlandernews.net
53. hofstrachronicle.com
54. houstonianonline.com
55. indianastatesman.com
56. inpoliticallycorrect.org
57. kansascityaurora.com
58. kirkwoodstudentmedia.com
59. ksgcitizen.org
60. kykernel.com
61. lakelandmirror.com
62. lavalleystar.com
63. lhueagleye.com
64. loyolagreyhound.com
65. loyolaphoenix.com
66. marshallparthenon.com
67. mclabeacon.com
68. mitsloanfifteen.com
69. mountimes.org
70. msucontraband.com
71. msuspokesman.com
72. ndsmcobserver.com
73. nevadasagebrush.com
74. newarktargum.com
75. ngcskyliner.com
76. njitvector.com
77. orion-online.net
78. pacepawprint.com
79. pacepress.org
80. piedmontnavigator.com
81. prattccbeavertale.com
82. princetonspectator.com
83. pulsemagazineonline.com
84. qcknightnews.com
85. readbuzz.com
86. roundupnews.com
87. rustorian.com
88. rwcactivist.com
89. ryunlv.com
90. sbstatesman.com
91. sccollegian.com
92. signal-online.net
93. smsuspur.com
94. sonomastatestar.com
95. spectatornews.com
96. srumosaic.com
97. studentvoiceonline.com
98. studlife.com
99. suujournal.com
100. tchnews.com
101. tcudailyskiff.com
102. technicianonline.com
103. testcp1.com
104. testcp2.com
105. testcp21.com
106. testcp22.com
107. testcp23.com
108. testcp24.com
109. testcp25.com
110. testcp3.com
111. testcp32.com
112. testcp35.com
113. testcp38.com
114. testcp5.com
115. the-mass-media.com
116. theaccent.org
117. theallstate.com
118. thecounterweight.com
119. thecowl.com
120. thedakotastudent.com
121. thedepauw.com
122. theechotimes.com
123. thefurmanpaladin.com
124. thegeorgetownindependent.com
125. thejudicium.com
126. thekenyonvoice.com
127. thelaf.com
128. thelantern.com
129. theliberty.org
130. theloquitur.com
131. themhnews.com
132. themichigantimes.com
133. theminaretonline.com
134. themountainecho.com
135. themountaineeronline.com
136. themustang.com
137. theonlinerocket.com
138. theorion.com
139. theorion.org
140. theperiscope.org
141. thepowwow.net
142. theprofileonline.com
143. thesandspur.org
144. theskylineview.com
145. thestalliononline.com
146. thetigernews.com
147. thetraveleronline.com
148. thetriangle.org
149. thevistaonline.com
150. tnhonline.com
151. torchonline.com
152. touroindependent.com
153. ualbanyezine.com
154. ucdadvocate.com
155. uctangerine.com
156. universitychronicle.com
157. usmfreepress.org
158. utahstatesman.com
159. utcecho.com
160. uwmleader.com
161. versusmag.org
162. villanovan.com
163. virtualreporter.org
164. volanteonline.com
165. waltonian.com
166. webujournal.com
167. westerncarolinian.com
168. westerncourier.com
169. whartonjournal.com
170. wsusignpost.com
171. wyoindy.com
172. uconews.com

Update on 8/17: Here's an interview with College Publisher’s Paul Pennelli about the purchase.

Posted by Jake on 08/15/06 @ 10:07 AM
Posted in Geekdom, Journalism, Sad | Permalink



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