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NBC Universal Takes In Oxygen

The media giant will buy the female-focused cable channel for $925 million.

NBC Universal aims to attract some more ladies.

The media arm of

General Electric

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has agreed to buy Oxygen Media, owner of female-focused cable channel Oxygen, for $925 million.

Oxygen was launched in 2000 by cable-network bigwig Geraldine Laybourne, who remains its chairman and CEO. Laybourne is credited with helping to develop

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Nickelodeon during the 1980s and 1990s.

Oxygen's other founders were Oprah Winfrey and television producers Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner and Caryn Mandabach. Billionaire Paul Allen also is a big investor in the company.

For its part, NBC Universal has already sought to zero in on a female audience, buying women's Web site iVillage last year. Oxygen will be absorbed into the company's cable division, which includes channels such as Bravo and USA.

NBC Universal projects revenue and cost synergies of about $35 million in 2008. The deal is expected to close in November.