AOL Buys Weblogs Inc.

Post ImageNews has been circulating since late last night that AOL has purchased Weblogs Inc. which publishes an entire network of blogs, including the very popular Engadget. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but various bloggers have been suggesting anywhere from $25 to $40 million USD, which certainly makes sense as the company makes at least $1 million in annual revenue from Google AdSense alone:

Weblogs, a privately held Santa Monica, Calif.-based company, operates 85 blogs with subjects ranging from parents to technology to film. AOL said Thursday that it will integrate the blogs throughout its network, such as within its television, travel and personal-finance channels.

“This…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,” Jim Bankoff, executive vice president of AOL’s programming and products, said in a statement.

While I think it’s a smart purchase for AOL, I am surprised quite frankly. My thoughts are more in line with Nick Denton’s:

Nick Denton, publisher of blogging site Gawker.com, was skeptical of the deal. “The whole point about blogs is that they’re not part of big media. Consolidation defeats the purpose. It’s way too early,” he said, adding that Gawker is not for sale.

That said, the deal will give AOL a very heavily trafficked collection of content properties, which of course is great for advertising dollars. What does this mean for the rumored Microsoft-AOL deal? My guess is that if anything was on the table, this deal won’t have much of an impact.

The downside to the deal is that Engadget and others will probably be peppered with Netscape and AOL advertisements. Not looking forward to that!

Regardless, as Weblogs Inc. founder Jason Calacanis posted:

You’ve got…blogs!

Read: CNET News.com

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