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Posts Tagged ‘IAC’

Barry Diller Gets His Way, Buys About.com from New York Times for $300 Million

Barry Diller’s IAC is buying About.com from The New York Times Company after all, for a reported $300 million. It was widely assumed that the site would be sold to Answers.com, but IAC’s offer was a better option for the Times, as All Things D notes:

Apparently the fact that he’s offering a ‘clean cash’ deal helped sway the Times and its Allen & Co. bankers. Answers and its private equity backers Summit Partners and TA Associates were going to finance the deal with debt, and would have included equity in Answers as part of the transaction.

A wise choice by the Times. For a company that could use all the help it can get, nothing is better than straight cash, homie.

Barry Diller’s IAC Offers Over $300 Million for About.com Just for The Hell of It

The New York Times Company has a signed letter of intent from Answers.com to buy About.com from the Times for $270 million. But Barry Diller’s IAC is throwing its hat into the ring anyway.

According to Reuters, IAC has offered over $300 million for About.com. Yes, over $300 million.

To make things even more interesting, a source told Reuters that there might be more offers coming for the site. “There are still interested buyers who feel that the $280 million price is low and can be easily matched,” said the source.

No word on if that source was drunk or not.

IAC Takes Control of Newsweek/The Daily Beast

According to Reuters, the family of the late Sidney Harman has stopped investing in Newsweek/The Daily Beast. Since IAC continues to subsidize the venture, its 50 percent interest is now a controlling stake.

The family decided to stop giving to Newsweek/The Daily Beast because it wanted to cap contributions, but wouldn’t say what that number was.

The Harman’s family’s statement to Reuters:

The Harman family remains supportive partners in the business of Newsweek Daily Beast, including service on the Board by Jane Harman and family participation in various informal roles. However, given the death of Sidney Harman, who was actively involved in the Newsweek Daily Beast business, the Harman trust has indicated that it does not intend to make further capital contributions to the venture.

New York TV Stations Are Suing Startup Backed by IAC

A number of New York television stations are up in arms about Aereo, a startup that in a nutshell, lets consumers access network television on web-enabled devices and internet TV platforms. Does that mean you can catch the game on your phone? Game changer indeed. One that Barry Diller of IAC, which led the startup’s most recent round of funding, saw value in.

The problem: Subscribers to Aereo would have access to all major networks including CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, CW, and PBS and other local channels and these networks weren’t too happy with this technological solution. They banded together and filed two lawsuits that seek to stop the product’s forthcoming March 14 release in addition to monetary damages, reports the New York Times.

“This case is not about stifling new video distribution technologies,” said the owners of Fox, CW, Univision, and PBS in a statement, “but about stopping a company from violating our copyrights and redistributing our television programming without permission or compensation.”

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Ricky Van Veen on New Production Company: ‘We Know How to Get the Web Excited’

Mediabistro caught up with Notional CEO Ricky Van Veen at the launch party for the company last night at the IAC building. Van Veen — co-founder and former editor-in-chief of CollegeHumor.com — told us Notional “is a television and web production company with the DNA of an Internet company.” The company’s initial block of programming includes content from the Food Network and HGTV.

Notional has a focus on “scalable” content, including game shows. Said Van Veen, “We want to do scripted, we want to do comedy, but the potential for that, in terms of scalability, is a lot less.”

As of now, Notional is focusing on the Web and TV, but Van Veen hinted that the company will look to do more in mobile and other platforms. “We know how to get the web excited, to make it go to the top of Digg,” he said. Notional is also collaborating with former co-chairman of NBC Entertainment Ben Silverman, who will also soon be launching the programming lineup for his own IAC funded production company. “We’ve got some good stuff in the works,” Van Veen said of the collaboration.

Related: More On Ben Silverman’s New Project

Christiane Amanpour|THR, Variety Plan Changes|GalleyCat Correctly Predicts Oprah’s Book Club Selection|WSJ Reveals Pricey Mobile App Pay Structure|Diller Will Use Cash To Reinvest

TVNewser: CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour celebrated the launch of her new show “Amanpour” at Michael’s yesterday, and chatted with Kevin Allocca. Says Kevin: “After the interview, Amanpour remarked, ‘That’s the tiniest lens I’ve every looked into.’”

FishbowlLA/Folio: Nikki Finke reports that The Hollywood Reporter will be going online only next year, while another entertainment trade Variety will be erecting pay walls. But Folio reports that THR owner Nielsen Business Media says it has no plans to shut down the trade pub’s print edition.

GalleyCat: Back in August, GalleyCat senior editor Ron Hogan correctly predicted that Oprah Winfrey‘s next book club selection would be Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan. The Washington Post made it official this afternoon, citing unintentionally leaked info. Winfrey is set to announce her book club choice during her show tomorrow.

Ad Age: The Wall Street Journal has announced plans to start charging for its mobile app available on iPhones and Blackberrys, and the cost is surprisingly high. Readers that don’t subscribe to the WSJ either in print or online will have to pay $2 per week for the app — or $104 a year. Subscribers to either medium will only be charged $1 a year and those who subscribe to both will get mobile access for free.

Bloomberg: IAC CEO Barry Diller says he will use his cash to repurchase stock, not invest in other companies like NBC Universal.

Former MTV Execs Join Online Media Publisher

andi.bmpOnline publisher BuzzMedia announced a major expansion today. The Los Angeles-based company, which publishes Buzznet, Celebuzz, TheSuperficial, Stereogum, WWTDD, Absolute Punk and Just Jared brought on two former MTV Networks execs, expanded its ad sales operations and opened a new office in New York.

Doug Rohrer, former executive vice president of sales at MTV Networks, has been named chief revenue officer of BuzzMedia. He will be joined by Andi Poch (right), formerly VP of ad sales at MTV and MTV.com, who will now work as senior vice president of ad sales for BuzzMedia. Poch and Rohrer are joining BuzzMedia from their digital advisory firm “and,” which serviced clients like IAC and Virgin Mobile.

BuzzMedia has also added three more sales execs to its team across the country: Rose Ferraro in the West; Paul Magyar in the East; and Cheryl Beley for the Midwest. The company also promoted Karina Kogan to executive vice president of sales and marketing and brought on Emily Schwartz as ad solutions director on the ad sales operations side.

Full release and bios of the new staffers after the jump

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More On Ben Silverman’s New Project

Embedded video from CNNMoney.com Video
Yesterday, IAC announced that NBC Universal co-chair Ben Silverman was leaving the network to launch a new venture for Barry Diller‘s media company.

Silverman’s two-year stint at NBCU has been fraught with speculation of his inevitable exit thanks to expensive flops like “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Knight Rider.” But Silverman is also responsible for bringing NBC’s biggest hits, “The Office” and “The Biggest Loser,” which were also produced by Silverman’s former company Reveille, to the network.

Although no one was surprised that Silverman was leaving NBC, his sudden departure and the mysterious new venture have been somewhat of a shock. Last week, he participated in Fortune‘s technology conference and spoke to Poppy Harlow about his network’s plans for “America’s Got Talent” and Jay Leno‘s move to primetime (video above). Silverman would presumably want to see the launch of Leno’s new program, but his two-year contract with NBC expired this summer.

So what will he be doing next at IAC?

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Silverman Leaves NBC For IAC; Gaspin Promoted To Chair

gaspin.pngAfter months of speculation over his possible departure, Ben Silverman is leaving NBC Universal to join Barry Diller‘s IAC, where he will develop a multi-media production company.

Silverman said he will stay at NBC through the launch of the fall season. He will be replaced by Jeff Gaspin (pictured), president and COO of Universal Television Group, who was promoted by NBC today, effective immediately.

The full release after the jump.

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Internet Week Announces 2010 Dates

2010.pngGet your 2010 calendars ready: the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences and the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting today announced the dates for next year’s Internet Week. The event will kick off on June 7, 2010, culminating with the 14th Annual Webby Awards on June 14.

This year’s Internet Week drew 15,000 people to events including mediabistro’s Circus — which featured speakers from The New York Times, BusinessWeek.com and Bravo, just to name a few.

Other companies like YouTube, Yelp, Digg, Time Warner, Digitas, CollegeHumor and Microsoft also participated in panels, exhibits, screenings and networking events that attracted big name media types like IAC‘s Barry Diller, Rupert Murdoch, Martha Stewart and Twitter founders Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone. What will next year bring?

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