Dulles, VA - Thursday, October 6, 2005 - In online content that ranges from music to movies, travel to tech, food to fashion, medicine to mortgages, 85 new topical websites now call AOL and AOL.com home - providing online consumers with new micro-communities where they can connect, debate, editorialize, comment, and learn.
America Online, Inc. today announced that is has signed a definitive agreement to acquire one of the online medium's leading blogging companies, Weblogs, Inc. (http://www.weblogsinc.com) of Santa Monica, CA and New York, NY. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The agreement was signed Wednesday, October 5, and is expected to close next week.
Weblogs, Inc., founded in September 2003, is a privately-held, venture-backed company. Weblogs operates a media network, launched in January 2004, of 85 blogging sites covering a range of subject matters. The company features more than 100 independent, freelance expert bloggers producing over 1,000 blog postings weekly - providing rich, unfiltered content for millions of dedicated blog visitors and contributors.
Weblogs produces blogs in specialized, 'niche' consumer and trade markets, with over 30 million monthly web page views and 25 million monthly RSS page views per month. Weblogs' more popular blogs include: Engadget (technology), Autoblog (automotive), Joystiq (gaming), Cinematical (films), Blogging Baby (parenting), Luxist (luxury), Gadling (travel), The Wireless Weblog, SlashFood, and TVSquad.
Weblogs will become a wholly-owned, stand-alone subsidiary of AOL. It will operate with full editorial control and independence.
AOL members and visitors to AOL.com will be provided with access to Weblogs' content in a number of areas. Links to Weblogs' 85 unique blogs will be seamlessly embedded and integrated across the AOL service, such as the Personal Finance Channel, the Autos Channel, the Travel Channel, the Games Channel, the Television Channel, and at AOL News - among others. Weblogs content will also be integrated within AOL, Inc.'s network of properties, such as Moviefone, AOL Music and Netscape. On AOL.com, visitors will be able to connect to Weblogs via the 'LiveWeb' and 'People Connection' links on the homepage.
"AOL has always been at the forefront of creating, expanding and celebrating flourishing communities online, where our members' voice is elevated to new levels of expression, creativity, and self-publishing," said Jim Bankoff, Executive Vice President of Programming & Products at AOL. "This exciting and groundbreaking combination allows our audiences to be able to do a 'deep-dive' into a vast array of compelling topics that keep them interested and entertained on our network of properties, day after day. Moreover, Weblogs, Inc. provides AOL with the ability to quickly launch websites and communities across areas our audience is passionate about, and advertisers are interested in," Bankoff added.
"Weblogs is delighted to join up with AOL, and in so doing, we've reached a milestone in the development of citizen media, " Jason McCabe Calacanis, co-founder and CEO of Weblogs, Inc. stated. "Weblogs has made great strides over the past two years building high-profile blogs. Yet, we realized that taking our network to the next level required a partner not only with a significant audience, but the advertising expertise to leverage it.In AOL, we found the ideal company to join."
Weblogs was cited by Fortune in a recent cover story on the "10 Tech Trends to Watch in 2005", and in February was named by BusinessWeek as one of "Five Net Names to Watch in '05". In addition, Luxist, a luxury lifestyle blog and one of Weblogs' most popular destinations, was named by USA Today as one of the web's "Hot Sites".
Weblogs, Inc. is AOL Inc.'s third acquisition in 2005 - following the acquisitions of Wildseed, Ltd. and Xdrive, Inc. in August.
AOL also provides its members and AOL.com visitors with access to AOL Journals (http://aol.com/journals), which launched in August 2003. AOL Journals provides users with an easy way to share thoughts, photos and more with friends, family and others on the Internet. In September 2005, AOL also released a milestone study called the AOL "Blog Trends Survey", conducted by Digital Marketing Services, Inc. (DMS). The survey questioned 600 people who write one or more blogs on the Web, and examined why they write blogs and what they write about. For the results, please click here.
For more on Weblogs, Inc., please visit (http://www.weblogsinc.com) ). Weblogs and the Weblogs corporate logo are trademarks of Weblogs, Inc.
About America Online, Inc.
America Online, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX). Based in Dulles, Virginia, America Online is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.
Nicholas J. Graham, AOL Corporate 703-265-1746