Continuing to pare back on its emerging businesses, IAC (NSDQ: IACI) has unloaded its majority stake in the VeryShortList, an e-mail newsletter guide similar to DailyCandy, to Jared Kushner's Observer Media Group, publisher of the NY Observer.
VSL's assets are going into a joint venture with Observer as the majority partner and IAC keeping a stake. (The New York Post reports 80-20.) No other terms were disclosed. The core newsletter will be renamed The Observer's Very Short List and will continue to recommend one cultural recommendation a day. VSL has 200,000 subscribers.
Very Short List was launched in 2006 by Kurt Andersen, IAC's Michael Jackson, Tim Nolan, Emily Oberman, and Bonnie Siegler, with IAC's backing. The founders are supposed to remain involved. The site employed about six full-time staffers, who were let go last week as the deal between IAC and Observer Media was being finalized, Gawker reported. Sara Vilkomerson, a former VeryShortList editor now at Observer Media, will be heading up the site. Release
Staci adds: This means the end of VSL's other newslettersat least for now. Subscribers to VSL: Web received an e-mail today telling them that Friday's was the last and that if they weren't subscribers to VSL Classic, they are now. It will be sent "automatically." VSL also produced a science newsletter and was in the process of adding newsletters for kids, food and books. We've confirmed that VSL:Science has been closed, too, and that plans for the other niches have been dropped so the company can focus on the "classic" newsletter.
By David Kaplan