After years without a clear online strategy, Conde Nast now is embracing the web, pumping up its titles online presence through general portals: Epicurious.com for food, Concierge.com for travel and Style.com for fashion. In April, the company added Brides.com to the mix, and more destination sites are expected within the next year.
'Years of separation'
"We are thrilled to be bringing Wired News back into the fold after eight years of separation from the print publication, especially since it comes at a time of exploding growth and creativity on the web," Steve Newhouse, chairman of the Advance.Net web division of Advance Publications, Inc., the privately-held parent company of Conde Nast, said in a statement.
Conde Nast clearly now recognizes the value of expanding its print brands into other channels, and many scratched their heads when it initially made the deal to only buy Wired magazine and not the online assets eight years ago.
Online ad revenues reached a new record of $3.9 billion for the first quarter of 2006, the Interactive Advertising Bureau reported in May, up 38% over the same period last year.
Part of CondeNet
When the transaction is complete, Wired News assets will operate as part of Conde Nast Publications' web division, CondeNet. The deal, announced late Tuesday by Lycos parent Daum Communications, includes all the assets of Wired News, including the site, news content and domain name. Lycos, meanwhile, holds onto several former Wired Digital properties such as HotBot, Hotwired and Webmonkey. No Wired News layoffs are expected.
This morning, Conde Nast's Mr. Newhouse and CondeNet President Sarah Chubb named Kourosh Karimkhany as general manage of Wired News, filling an open position. He was formerly its business manager and an editor of the site.
Conde Nast first acquired Wired for $75 million in 1998. A year later, Lycos took on Wired News as part of its acquisition of Wired Digital in a stock transaction valued at approximately $83 million. Since then, Wired News has published magazine articles on the web under a contractual relationship while reporting independently on technology and science news online.
Since it was bought out by Daum Communications for $95 million in late 2004, Lycos has been slowly shedding its disparate web properties -- such the financial site Quote.com and now wired.com -- to focus more on broadband TV and community content services.