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Travel Channel Invests in Oyster.com

Your spring break just got fancier. The Travel Channel has, according to a press release, “acquired a meaningful interest” in Oyster.com, an upscale hotel booking site based in New York City. Founded in 2008, Oyster.com started out as a review site like Trip Advisor and grew to be a full-service transaction site like Hotels.com, using professional writers – not consumers – to check out the hotels in person, take candid photos, and write the reviews. Per the agreement, Oyster.com will share exclusive content with the Travel Channel, as well as collaborate on cross-platform promotional opportunities and programming.

Said Travel Channel president Laureen Ong:

This is a transformational event for the Travel Channel. Entering into a strategic relationship with Oyster.com greatly broadens our position as a trusted source for information and allows us to go beyond the inspiration and entertainment we offer on television. Simultaneously, this partnership provides an incredibly meaningful way to connect with and improve the experience of travelers and adventure seekers everywhere.

Said Oyster co-founder and CEO Elie Seidman:

We believe in engaging audiences through the power of a strong respected brand and reliable expertise. That’s what we’re building at Oyster.com and we were always impressed with the trust and knowledge that Travel Channel represents, and the large and discriminating audiences it attracts.

UPDATE: This morning GalleyCat editor Jason Boog interviewed Seidman on the Morning Media Menu about the Travel Channel’s investment, which Boog reports was $7.5 millon.  Follow this MP3 link to hear more about the deal.

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