Huffington Post is wasting little time in putting last month's $25 million funding to work: as expected, the company says its buying comedy news site 236.com. The comedy site was created in Nov. 2007 as part of a joint venture between Huffington Post and IAC (NSDQ: IACI). Now, after a year as a standalone, 236.com will be integrated into Huffington Post as a vertical channel.
The purchase represents Huffington Post's recognition that it needs to expand its offerings beyond straight commentary, now that the presidential campaign is over and traffic and advertising are expected to fall off. 236.com claims roughly 2 million unique users a month, which is a drop compared to HuffPo's 16 million monthly uniques.
The sell-off of 236.com comes after IAC dissolved its programming group last month as part of its post-spinoff reorg. In addition to 236.com, IAC's programming group managed "content-based" sites such as CollegeHumor.com; Very Short List (VSL); 236.com; RushmoreDrive.com and Tina Brown's recently launched Daily Beast. At the time, our Staci D. Kramer predicted that HuffPo would own 236.com entirely.
By David Kaplan