Wired Reunites Online and Offline Properties

Condé Nast has reunited its Wired Magazine and Wired News online properties, buying back the online property for $25 million from Lycos after eight years of separation.

Wired News went to Lycos as part of a deal for Wired Digital in June 1999, which included Wired News, Hotbot, Hotwired and Webmonkey. Lycos will keep those other properties, while Wired News will be continue at www.wired.com under Condé Nast’s Web division, CondéNet.

“This is really a dream come true for us,” Steve Newhouse, chairman of the Advance.net Web division of Advance Publications, the parent company of Condé Nast Publications, told ClickZ. “It’s certainly wonderful to put the Wired brand back together under the same roof, but we’re also getting a great business in Wired News, which has a foundation of tremendous engagement, a sense of community, a large audience and a great brand. And it has all that at a moment when it really hasn’t been invested in under Lycos.”

Kourosh Karimkhany, a former editor and business manager at Wired News, was named general manager of the Wired News Internet business. Karimkhany was most recently director of business development at CondéNet.

Wired News has been run by about a dozen staffers located in the same office as Wired Magazine, and has run Wired Magazine content online as part of a contractual agreement. The site has also been through some rough times recently, including several rounds of layoffs, so the move is not unexpected.

Lycos is in the midst of shedding non-core business units in a continuing attempt to reinvent itself and find a niche since it was acquired by South Korean Internet giant Daum in 2004.

In February, it sold its Quote.com financial portal to IDC for $30 million. Most recently, Lycos has made moves to become a broadband entertainment portal.

At the same time, Condé Nast is making an online push with its considerable offline media properties. In April, the company launched Brides.com, a portal combining content from three of its print magazines with exclusive online content. It also runs portals for food (Epicurious.com), travel (Concierge.com) and fashion (Style.com), all of which include some content from its offline properties.

Style.com is home to Vogue and W magazines, and Men.style.com is home to GQ and Details. Concierge houses Condé Nast Traveler, while Epicurious features content from Bon Appetit, Gourmet, House & Garden, and Self.

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