Updated from 10:23 a.m.
AOL is buying Weblogs, owner of 85 blogging sites, to tap into the growing popularity of the media form on the Internet.
Terms weren't disclosed, but Weblogs has 30 million monthly Web page views, according to a statement from AOL. Its sites include the technology blog Engadget and the gaming site Joystiq. The deal, which is expected to close next week, is worth around $25 million, according to
Weblogs also talked to
, PaidContent.Org reported.
The news comes as Time Warner tries to reverse AOL's flagging fortunes by remaking the site to compete with the likes of Yahoo! and
. The Weblogs acquisition will expand AOL's blogging capabilities.
Meanwhile, big Internet companies continue to snap up smaller ones as they scramble to keep up with each other by adding the newest features and services. Yahoo! said Wednesday that it acquired the site Upcoming.Org, which provides free listings of events such as concerts, movie listings and comedy shows. This is AOL's third acquisition this year following the purchases of Wildseed and Xdrive in August.
"Weblogs has made great strides over the past two years building high-profile blogs," said Jason McCabe Calacanis, the co-founder and chief executive of Weblogs, in a statement. "Yet, we realized that taking our network to the next level required a partner not only with significant audience but the advertising expertise."
Though the audience for blogs is small, their audience is attractive to advertisers since users tend to be educated and have high incomes. The Engadget blog has as ads on it now from Nintendo and
Blogs reach a young, affluent audience that advertisers love. comScore data show that 41% of blog readers have household incomes of $75,000 or more, which is higher than average Internet users. In addition, 32% are between 18 and 34, compared with 24% of the general Internet population.
Nick Denton, the publisher of Gawker Media, owner of blogs such as Gawker and Wonkette, described AOL's purchase of Weblogs as "exhilarating in many respects, which I shouldn't list here" on his personal Web site,
"For what it's worth, Gawker isn't for sale," Denton continued. "The whole point about blogs is that they're not part of big media. Consolidation defeats the purpose. It's way too early."
"Gawker is in New York, we write about the media, so it's hard not to havecontact with the main players," Denton said in an email to TheStreet.com. "But we never let any conversations develop to the point that anyone would make an offer."
Shares of Time Warner, which also owns CNN, HBO and the Warner Bros. film studio, were unchanged at $18.