N.Y. Times Co. to sell About.com
The New York Times Co. has reached an agreement to sell the About Group, its unit that includes the About.com online resource guide, to Answers.com for $270 million, the New York Times' Media Decoder blog reported.
The Times Co. bought About.com in 2005 for $410 million, one of former CEO Janet Robinson's first moves, the Wall Street Journal noted. The company is now seeking a new CEO. Robinson was ousted in December.
When the Times Co. bought the unit, "analysts questioned how compatible About.com was with the broader company goals," the Times report said. The Times noted that the unit initially was profitable, but profits shrank in 2011 after a change in a Google algorithm led to a decline in online traffic and advertising.
The Times Co. has also recently sold its stake in the Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox baseball team, and its regional newspaper group. "The sales have helped the Times repair its stress balance sheet but haven't helped the company resolve its major challenge: declining print advertising revenue at its core products," the Journal report said. (Sources: Media Decoder, New York Times, Aug. 8, 2012; Wall Street Journal, Aug. 9, 2012.)
Posted Thursday, August 09, 2012 • Permalink