Dennis Publishing Music Title Will Feed AOL Music

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NEW YORK ( -- Takeover tycoon Carl Icahn can carp all he wants about AOL’s “loss of direction, influence and growth” as he rails against Time Warner's leadership, but Blender still wants to get in front of the 17 million monthly visitors to AOL Music. As it turns out -- and this might not make Mr. Icahn happy -- Blender has found a way to do so for free.

No-cash deal
The Dennis Publishing title has struck a no-cash deal to provide both exclusive and repurposed magazine content to AOL Music, starting Feb. 14, and to build a co-branded Blender-AOL Radio station, which should go live within the next four weeks.

The partnership was some time in coming. "I’ve been talking to one of my counterparts at AOL Music for a couple years now," said Craig Marks, editor in chief, Blender. "We came to realize that we could help each other out and do each other some good."

"We hope to reach their mass wide audience of music fans and introduce them at times to what Blender is, what it does, our tone and our expertise," he said.

Asked to detail the calculations that led to the partnership, an AOL executive laughed a bit. “It was pretty uncalculated,” said Erik Flannigan, VP-general manager of AOL Music, Movie and TV and a former Buena Vista executive. “It was a little bit of a mutual admiration society."

Incorporating the mag's voice
More practically, Mr. Flannigan said AOL Music would benefit from Blender's particular voice. "It’s important," he said, "if you want to move a music destination from being driven by the hits to being a place with a loyal audience.”

Blender’s debut on the site, which will include links to Blender's own site or subscription offers, will feature a multimedia version of the magazine’s March cover story, “50 Most Awesomely Dead Rock Stars.” Other content will include a monthly photo-captioning contest and Blender music reviews.

“We haven’t had a critical voice come in around CD reviews,” Mr. Flannigan said. “Blender’s CD reviews will be woven in.”

The partnership is open-ended.

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