Time Warner (TWX) wants to revive the once-mighty Netscape brand.
Time Warner's America Online service, whose new
The service is going to be relaunched as a social-networking site similar to
The new Netscape will be headed by Jason Calacanis, whose Weblogs Inc. business was acquired by New York-based Time Warner last year. Time Warner has laid off Netscape workers ahead of the Calacanis takeover, according to the gossip blog
Time Warner declined to comment. Calacanis didn't immediately respond to an email.
Before it was acquired by Time Warner in 1999, Netscape waged a highly public and ultimately futile battle to provide an alternative browser to Microsoft (MSFT) and its Internet Explorer. That fight was a central issue in the Microsoft antitrust trial.
Netscape only has a fraction of the users that it once enjoyed, though its browser still comes preloaded on Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) computers. It also has a portal featuring articles on news, sports and entertainment.
"Netscape has some residual credibility among the geeks," says Nick Denton, the head of Valleywag's parent Gawker Media, whose other blogs include Gawker, Defamer and Wonkette. "Calacanis understands that audience, and he's energetic. Also, what's to lose? Netscape is languishing. They might as well let Calacanis shake things up."
Calacanis deserves at least some of the credit for the growing popularity of blogs and their offshoots. His company's blogs are some of the the most popular on the Web, such as