Jason Calacanis just announced the acquisition of Weblogs Inc. by America OnLine. Weblogs Inc. is a blog network of 90 weblogs employing over 130 bloggers in the consumer, technology, wireless, video games, media & entertainment, business, life sciences, and events. Weblogs Inc. received venture capital funding from Mark Cuban.
I have heard terms of the deal are cash and stock with about a $25 million base and $15 million worth of incentives. If true, Weblogs Inc. received a similar valuation to Flickr.
Some questions remain unanswered. What is the future of the bloggers in your network? Who will determine future blog direction across Weblogs Inc. properties? Will Blogsmith continue to be a product offering?
America OnLine and Yahoo! have both let the world know they plan to aggregate and produce content on a variety of topics. While Yahoo!’s plan is still in formation, AOL just acquired a good head-start in unique content through the acquisition.
How stable is the Weblogs Inc. network of sites? Media brands such as The New York Times and NBC have value in the brand as well as individual stars, but we have seen movements of key personalities away as we have already seen with Peter Rojas’ move from Gawker’s Gizmodo to Weblogs Inc.’s Engadget site. Can these personalities break out on their own and deflate the value of the Weblogs Inc. network? Can AOL bolster the brand across their Time Warner properties so no one would notice the difference?