For competitive or perhaps even lizard-brain-driven reasons, I think traditional publishers continue to look for viable alternatives to giving their business to Google. Latest example is this deal between Time Inc. and Quigo. The angle here is this, from the Quigo blog:
Unlike the blind ad networks used previously on many of these sites, Time Inc will be able to sell directly to its advertisers text-based, pay-for-performance ads on an individual property, or across a collection of sites. Accordingly, marketers will finally be able to buy ads with full transparency and control on Time Inc properties. As a marketer, this gives you full confidence that you’re reaching the high-quality, highly-targeted audience of specific Time Inc properties, and are not wasting ad dollars on questionable sites that are a big part of a blind ad network
Well….AdSense is no longer a blind network, it has site specific ads, and advertisers can check the performance of their ads on a per site basis and optimize. I’m pretty sure Time Inc. could have cut a pretty sweet deal with Google had it wanted to. I sense more is going on here.