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Hypergene MediaBlog » What's all the fuss About.com?

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Tuesday, 22 Feb 2005

What's all the fuss About.com?

The New York Times + $410 million + About.com = a lot of people buzzin’.

The best reading, so far:

"At the end of the day, I think this is a good move for the Times. They’ve cast their lot down the tail and with the search economy. As Martin (Nisenholtz) told me when I pinged him after the deal: ‘We’re deep into Web 2.0 now.’ “
- John Battelle.

Make no mistake, it is about search/CPC ad revenues in the short term, first and foremost. Then, of course, the benefits of added traffic over long term.
-PaidContent.org

“And that is what Martin and his team have put together.  It will be very interesting to watch them execute this acquisition.  If the content that is created on the edges starts to show up in the middle and the content that is created in the middle starts to show up on the edges, that will be a big deal.”
- A VC

“For advertisers with a choice between bloggers and traditional print as a medium to get their message across the blog side wins hands down. I suspect that as these numbers begin to sink in we’ll see many more ads on blogs at higher rates than present and that may then make more bloggers able to drop the daytime job.”
-Francis Turner

“The pending debt-financed acquisition of About.com, while bolstering the Times’s, presence on the Web, could lead to a downgrade.”
-BusinessWeek

“Okay, let’s do some calculating. The NYT is paying $410 million for a network of 500 weblogs that collectively have 22 million visitors each month. $410 million / 500 = $820,000 per weblog.”
-Rex Hammock

From what we’ve read, there’s little doubt that The New York Times paid a fair price for About.com (about 30x EBITDA or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). They have some smart people at the helm not interested in sinking this ship like Abuzz.

It will be interesting to see if how long they’ll keep About.com as a separate business unit and protect it from the entrenched culture of The Times.

Update How does all of this make for a better news product or help The Times collaborate with their audience?

Posted on Feb 22, 2005 | 2:13 am EST
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