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Acquisitions

Clear Channel to Purchase WOR Radio

Clear Channel has announced plans to purchase the venerable AM news/talker WOR 710 from Buckley Radio. Terms of the agreement were not released. A mandatory meeting was held this morning at WOR informing staffers of the dramatic, if not somewhat expected news.

The legendary WOR goes back to the origins of radio, 1922. Since its founding, WOR has had a longstanding commitment to technology and innovation; it was one of the first radio stations in America to use directional antenna to increase the scope and range of its broadcast, was the first AM radio station in New York to broadcast with HD radio technology and is one of the best radio broadcast signals in the U.S.

Change seemed to be on the horizon for Buckley Radio, a “mom and pop” ownership, when president Rick Buckley died after 40 years at the helm in July 2011. Buckley had succeeded his father as head of Buckley Radio.

“WOR is an iconic New York City brand with a rich history and an exciting future,” John Hogan, chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, says.  “Clear Channel is excited to add WOR as a powerful, high potential complement to our New York brands.  We believe WOR makes our already incredible platform even more interesting for listeners, advertisers, and strategic partners and we look forward to the tremendous potential WOR adds to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment New York.”

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Complex Media Acquires Social Networking Platform SuperGlued

Complex Media  has acquired SuperGlued, a social networking platform where concertgoers gather to share and discuss live music experiences.

SuperGlued’s co-founder Rush Doshi has joined Complex Media to lead SuperGlued’s product and audience development initiatives. Prior to SuperGlued, Doshi spent 10 years working on product and marketing initiatives at AOL, Meetup, BlackPlanet and Bolt.  He also served as a digital media consultant for Comcast Interactive, XM Satellite Radio and Time-Life Music.

Launched in 2009, SuperGlued was recently named to Billboard magazine’s top 10 startups of 2011.

Arianna Huffington is Hard to Work With?

Now this is hard to believe.

After a blissful one-year anniversary between AOL and Huffington Post, sources have told Business Insider that top executives at AOL, including CEO Tim Armstrong, have their hands full with Arianna Huffington, who is a “headache” to deal with because of nonexistent “operating experience.”

Even so, it’s being suggested that Armstrong can see past the frustration and complaints (including that she is attention-needy) to understand Huffington’s worth.

Business Insider reports: “The value of having her is huge from a recruiting standpoint. And she’s an earned media machine. [She brings] incredible value in being a leader [with] public credibility,” says this source.

It’s always about the big picture, right?

Sugar Inc. to Acquire Social Network for Moms

Sugar Inc. will be acquiring Circle of Moms, a social network for moms and moms-to-be.

Circle of Moms originally launched on Facebook in 2008 and now serves a community of 6 million moms.

Upon the close of the acquisition, the social network will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sugar Inc. and will continue to operate independently.

“Acquiring Circle of Moms enables us to extend the reach of our existing mom audience, offer more valuable content, and strengthen our social community” said Brian Sugar, co-founder and CEO of Sugar Inc. “Circle of Moms has successfully established itself as a leading brand within this highly-coveted demographic. We’re thrilled to welcome the Circle of Moms team to Sugar and partner together in the next phase of our growth.”

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QuinStreet Buys Several Websites from Ziff Davis

QuinStreet, a vertical marketing and online media firm, has purchased select media assets from Ziff Davis Enterprises. The transaction included the acquisition of eWeek.com, CIOInsight.com, Baseline.com, ChannelInsider.com and WebBuyersGuide.com among other assets.

The goal of the deal was to add additional technology media brands to QuinStreet’s online portfolio, expand the company’s reach into mobile marketing, and further develop relationships within the B2B technology space in addition to adding a roster of writers from the sites purchased.

“Ziff Davis Enterprise has a rich history in the B2B technology media and marketing space and is synonymous with quality and client service. This acquisition expands QuinStreet’s ability to service our B2B technology clients at scale, with high-quality, targeted, measurable marketing results,” said Doug Valenti, QuinStreet CEO.

Of note, in 2009, QuinStreet purchased Internet.com from mediabistro.com’s parent company WebMediaBrands.

Meredith Adds FamilyFun Magazine to its Roster

Another acquisition for Meredith Corporation. This time, the media company is acquiring the assets to FamilyFun from Disney Publishing Worldwide, a deal set to close in 30 days. The magazine has an audience of six million. The first issue published by Meredith is expected March 2012.

This addition to its parenting category, which already includes Parents and American Baby, comes on the heels of acquiring food titles Every Day with Rachael Ray and EatingWell.

“We are delighted to add the FamilyFun brand to our expanding media portfolio,” says Meredith National Media Group president Tom Harty. “This acquisition further strengthens our leadership position and reach among women in both the parenthood and food spaces, and offers our advertisers additional channels to reach these consumers.”

For Disney, this means a stronger focus on its children initiatives.

“Moving forward, Disney Publishing Worldwide will focus on our core children’s magazine and book businesses, our rapidly growing digital initiatives, and our Disney English language learning program,” says Russell Hampton, president, Disney Publishing Worldwide.

Meredith Completes Acquisition of Every Day With Rachael Ray

Meredith Corporation and Reader’s Digest Association have completed the agreement for Meredith to acquire Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine and its related digital assets.  In addition, Meredith announced it has finalized a 10-year licensing agreement with Watch Entertainment Inc. for the award-winning brand.

The acquisition includes the popular magazine that’s published 10 times annually with a 7.4 million audience.  The first issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray published under the Meredith banner will be February 2012, available on newsstands in early January.

“We are energized to bring the Every Day with Rachael Ray brand to market as part of the Meredith portfolio,” said Meredith National Media Group President Tom Harty.  “It represents a very important piece of the strategy we are executing to significantly enhance our already powerful reach in the food space.”

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Facebook and Google in Talks for a Deal with Skype

If there’s one service more people should be using, in FishbowlNY’s humble opinion, it’s Skype. Few people Stateside really care about Skype, but whenever FishbowlNY goes on vacation, it notes that the rest of the world can’t seem to live without it.

But Facebook and Google are catching on, and both are reportedly in talks to strike a deal with Skype, sources have told Reuters. If Skype will have them! Mark Zuckerberg has been in internal talks about buying Skype, and Google has been having separate discussions.

Skype was planning an IPO, until it was pushed back to the second half of 2011. An IPO, according to one source, could raise about $1 billion. Other sources indicated that a deal with Facebook or Google could approach $3 to $4 billion. Or, as FishbowlNY has noted, 300-400 times what The Daily lost in the first quarter.

Westwood One Sells Metro Networks Division to Clear Channel; Will Remain ‘Business as Usual’

Metro Networks has a presence in most New York City TV and radio stations. Chances are the traffic reports you’re hearing or seeing are either done at Shadow/Metro studios in Rutherford, New Jersey or the stations pay a service to use their information. (Certain newscasts are also farmed out to Metro.) 

Now comes word that Clear Channel has purchased that portion of Westwood One.

Wendy Goldberg, Clear Channel EVP of Marketing and Communications tells FishbowlNY that for now, though, Metro employees will not be affected by the sale.

“It’s business as usual, “Goldberg says. “In the next few months, we will be assessing how the teams and product work together.”

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Aol News Will No Longer Be Producing Any Original Content

There has been much condensing and slashing since the Aol Huffington Post merger, and now Mediaite reports that Aol News is officially folding into Huffington Post, and will no longer be producing any of its own original content.

This does not mean that the Aol News brand will cease to exist, but that all of the content will be produced and overseen by the Huffington Post team. So will Huffington Post completely overhaul Aol News with its, in the words of Bill Keller, “celebrity gossip, adorable kitten videos” and “left-wing soundtrack”?

The folding of the Aol News department and replacement by HuffPost will create an interesting dynamic between the more predominantly “red state” Aol users who will now be directed to “blue state” oriented Huffington Post content. Regardless, this provides the most convincing argument to date that Huffington Post was only “acquired by Aol,” as far as the finance departments are concerned.

What also remains to be seen is how many more layoffs might occur at Aol. So far the tally is up to 750 people, not to mention the freelancers.

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