Is The New York Times Selling About.com? No.
The New York Times (NYT) is in lousy shape, so it needs to sell off About.com, the kind-of-portal, kind-of-blog-aggregator it bought from Primedia in 2005. So says Jason Calacanis, whose Mahalo.com is a kind-of-portal, kind-of-blog-aggregator.
Not true, say two people familiar with the Times and About; they say the paper isn’t shopping the property.
Calacanis, who made the remarks during the most recent This Week In Tech podcast, doesn’t go into much detail about his claim. Gawker has a link to the audio, but here’s the relevant transcript, in its entirety:
They’re going to have sell About. They’ve been trying to sell About.com, from what I understand.”
NYT spokeswoman Catherine Mathis offered up the standard we-don’t-comment-rumors-and-speculation line.
That said, it doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen at some point in the future. The Times really does need money, and since About.com is both growing and profitable, it may be the most valuable asset the Times now owns.
But that’s exactly why the New York Times would be reluctant to part with it. Like it or not, About.com may well represent the Times’ future.
This isn’t the first time a Web reporter has suggested that About.com is on the block, by the way. I wrote the same thing earlier this year, and I was wrong then.