iVillage Acquires gURL.com

  |  August 5, 2003   |  Comments

The women-focused Web site sets its sights younger by adding the teen community site from cost-cutting Primedia.

Women's Web network iVillage announced on Tuesday that it bought the assets of teen-focused Web community gURL.com from Primedia .

The deal gives iVillage access to a much younger audience, while solidifying its position as the top women's destination on the Web. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Like iVillage, gURL.com features articles, quizzes and chat for a female audience. IVillage cemented its hold on the women's Web market with its $47 million acquisition of rival Women.com in February 2001. In June, iVillage was the 10th most visited Web site with 15 million unique visitors, according to comScore Media Metrix.

IVillage CEO Doug McCormick said the deal would allow the company to expand its advertising base by reaching out to a younger demographic. According to recent research sponsored by Yahoo, teens spend more time online than watching TV.

The deal is the second time in a little over two years that gURL.com has changed hands. In May 2001, Primedia bought the teen-girl site from dELiA*s. At the time, Primedia planned to use gURL.com as a platform to trumpet its own stable of offline teen magazines, like Tiger Beat, Teen Beat and Seventeen.

Primedia, however, soon began to cut costs as it found itself under massive amounts of debt run up by CEO Tom Rogers' buying spree during the dot-come bubble. Rogers was forced out of his position in April, as Primedia began selling off unprofitable units and scrapping his vision of an integrated offline-online media company.

GURL.com co-founders Esther Drill and Heather McDonald will join iVillage.

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