That's an interesting idea but not really quite right for my site.
A big thanks to everyone who has contributed so far. There's certainly a lot of good information in this thread. One thing I discovered today was that advertsing on local newspapers' websites is often much cheaper than advertising in the paper itself. Most the ones I checked out had cheap CPM rates for anything other than the home page. That's a good way to brand yourself.
Where I live, local news agencies are often talk a lot about trust. Having an ad on a site that the users trust can lend more credibility to your own site.