New York Times Almost Bought Into Demand Media

Demand Media, which is fresh off its IPO, was almost part of the New York Times family.

Demand, a mass producer of instructional content, approached Times Co. executives more than three years ago about combining the company with About.com, a person familiar with the matter said. Times Co. paid $410 million in 2005 for About.com, a network of sites that serves up information on thousands of topics from would-be experts called “guides.”

Under the terms discussed at the time, Times Co. would own as much as 49% of a company that would combine Demand Media’s assets including eHow.com and Livestrong.com, with About.com, according to the person familiar with the matter.

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