The Knight Ridder newspaper chain, which uses a centralized Web publishing system for more than 30 of its newspapers, is often criticized in the industry for giving those sites a cookie-cutter design.
Well, the design isn't all that's shared; banner ads are shared across the network, too. And that leads to inappropriate, embarassing mistakes such as this on KansasCity.com, pointed out to me by Joel Mathis:
For readers who don't keep up with American football: That's an ad for Miami Dolphins e-mail news updates. On a Kansas City news site.
Miami is about 1,500 miles from Kansas City, which has its own football team.
And I'll bet quite a few fans of the Kansas City football team saw that ad and wrinkled their noses. That's how a site loses readers' trust.
Guess that's what happens when corporate controls the Web site.
UPDATE, 12:22 a.m.: E-Media Tidbits reports a Knight Ridder spokesperson has said that this Dolphins ad was "deliberately scheduled" to run on the Kansas City news site because "there are many Dolphin fans all over the county."