Peter Kafka

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Gannett Buys Big Lead Sports Owner Fantasy Sports Ventures

Gannett has bought Fantasy Sports Ventures, a Web sports network best known for its Big Lead Sports site. Gannett invested in Fantasy Sports back in 2008.

Gannett doesn’t disclose a purchase price in the press release announcing the deal, but notes that it was already a “significant minority shareholder” in Fantasy Sports. Chris Russo, who founded the property in 2006, says he’ll stay on as chief executive; almost all of his two dozen full-time employees will come aboard to Gannett, as well.

Fantasy Sports has more than 19 million unique users, and Gannett says that combining them with the audience for its existing sports sites will make it one of the Web’s top five sites. Boutique bank Mesa Global worked on the transaction.


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