When it launched, New Century was seen as a way for newspapers to sell national advertising by pooling the resources of papers all across the country. The service foundered when the big players such as Gannett, the New York Times and the Washington Post decided to put their efforts behind their own web sites, leaving the second-tier papers the burden of trying to attract national advertising. In the end, the one thing NCN's partners could agree on is that they were all better off trying to carve their own web niche.
What can a bunch of newspaper editors agree on? Not much, and that's why New Century Network is folding the tents and going gentle into that good cybernetic night. "We were unable to agree on a business plan that would receive the support of enough partners to enable us to move forward," the board of directors for the 140-newspaper conglomerate said in a statement, announcing they would immediately close the three-year-old Internet network.