AOL (owned by Time Warner, ticker: TWX) agreed to buy blog network Weblogs Inc. Here are the key stats about the deal, a round-up of reactions, and a few quick questions:
Weblogs Inc. and The Deal:
- According to the WSJ, the purchase price is $25 million.
- Jason Calacanis will stay as CEO, and Weblogs will be run as an independent entity.
- Weblogs has 10 full time employees...
- ... and about 30 million monthly page views...
- ... from about 85 blogs run by about 130 bloggers.
- Martin Tobias: "Not alot of total payout ($25M) but alot relative to the cash going in."
- Joel Johnson: "I can't decide if it's gratuitous to add 'sell-out' to 'douchebags,' or if it was already implicit."
- Raving Lunacy: "the truly passionate [Weblogs bloggers]... will leave over either the terms and conditions, not wanting association with the AOL brand, or will branch out on their own."
- Jim Kukral: "I'm confident we've just witnessed the first domino fall in blog property consolidation."
- Nick Denton: "The whole point about blogs is that they're not part of big media. Consolidation defeats the purpose. It's way too early. Like a decade too early."
- Russell Buckley: "Is it worth the money? Frankly, I don't think so and my bet is Jason has cannily sold out at the top of the market."
Three Quick Questions:
1. Why did Jason Calacanis sell now?
2. Why didn't News Corp, the NY Times, or even IAC out-bid AOL for this deal?
3. AOL has its own rich media assets; does it really need Weblogs Inc?
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