NBC's iVillage mommying BlogHer with $5 million

Melissa Gira Grant · 07/17/08 02:00PM

BlogHer, the world's largest network of mommybloggers and women who are not mommies, has a new deal with NBC Universal: $5 million from their Peacock Equity fund, and a partnership with iVillage, the leading pastel content provider for ladies. More baby stuff and diet ads will follow at BlogHer, yes, but "we've been able to syndicate ads that make our bloggers happy," says BlogHer cofounder, Lisa Stone. Ads are just the acrylic tip of it.

Olson Out

Nick Denton · 05/05/08 01:37PM

Random House chief Peter Olson will step down in the next few weeks, according to an unsourced report posted to the New York Times website. An illness—said by Publishers Weekly to be double pneumonia—had left the publishing exec "distracted and unavailable" for months. Olson, who has five children including two adopted from Eastern Europe, married the founder of the iVillage website for women, Candice Carpenter, in 2001. (One tipster says his forceful wife refused to allow contact by Random House's German owners while Olson was sick.)

iVillage Editor Is Among Those Fired By The NBC Company

Maggie · 02/12/08 04:36PM

Forty people (twice as many as originally thought)An iVillage spokesperson "can confirm for you that 13 employees were affected today" by layoffs at the NBC subsidiary, not the larger number we reported earlier based on employee accounts. "Nobody saw it coming," an insider told us. Editor-in-chief Jennie Baird, who was hired away from AOL in April to helm the women's content company is among the victims, according to a source. The sneakiest part we're hearing though, is how NBC may have enticed iVillage employees to move to the network's New Jersey location. "These people were good enough to agree to go to hell (aka Englewood Cliffs) and they got canned," we were told. "Many of them were promised bonuses to move...but they had to stay until Dec. 2008. Big bonuses. 20% of their salaries." If we could think of a less-offensive term than "indian-giver" for NBC, we'd use it, but we totally can't!

Layoffs At iVillage; 20 Positions Cut

Maggie · 02/12/08 02:55PM

We hear axes are falling at iVillage, the women's-oriented media company bought by NBC Universal two years ago for $600 million. According to a source, the company "just cut about 20 positions, some of them occupied. Maybe a dozen people got the axe." Adding insult to injury, the poor employees left standing are being relocated from Midtown to the CNBC campus in Englewood Cliffs by the end of the month. iVillage editorial director Tina Gaudoin left the UK's version of the site to join the Wall Street Journal in January. Let us know if you hear more.

Women's Web

Nick Denton · 02/05/08 04:51PM

Glam, the West Coast network of fashion blogs and other women's sites, is the fastest growing company on the face of the Earth, says its backer. Or else the startup, an increasingly worrying competitor of established media companies such as Hearst and NBC Universal's iVillage, is merely metastasizing, argues Valleywag's Owen Thomas.

Glam's flim-flam campaign draws NBC to compete

Owen Thomas · 01/11/08 01:43PM

Give Samir Arora this much credit: The founder of Glam Media is an excellent salesman. Especially when pitching a gullible press corps. Folio is the latest to take the bait. The magazine swallows Arora's line that as an ad network, Glam deserves comparison to wholly-owned media properties. (Such as, I should mention, Jezebel.com, the women's site published by Gawker Media, the owner of Valleywag.) It's nonsense, of course. But when Deborah Fine, CEO of NBC Universal's iVillage, points this out, she's portrayed as a disgruntled rival, not a voice of reason. Too bad Folio didn't listen to her, or talk to stock analysts, or do anything, really, besides transcribe what Arora told the magazine. Brokering ads on thin margins is a rough business, and one in which Glam competes with Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. And now, NBC.

Jordan Golson · 11/20/07 02:13PM

CafeMom, a social networking site for the maternal set, was the No. 1 destination for women in October, according to ComScore. CafeMom, with 90 million pageviews, beat out other female-centric sites such as BabyCenter, NBC's iVillage, Oprah.com and MarthaStewart.com. [Mashable]

And Madison Avenue created woman

Mary Jane Irwin · 11/14/07 12:32PM

There are women on the Internet. Did you know? Madison Avenue is just figuring this out, desperately looking for websites to stuff with female-targeted ad dollars. Lifetime, the cable network, just launched its own social network, mylifetime.com, with a lot of help from Glam Media's stable of female-centric blogs. Similarly, Warner Bros. announced entertainment and advice destination Mom Logic. Martha Stewart has launched Martha's Circle, an online ad network which represents other websites, and NBC Universal's iVIllage has struck a similar deal with Sugar Publishing. "It's kind of boring to say, but we really think content's king in this category," said Starcom's Jeff Marshall to AdAge. Boring, and false. The rule these days is sell the ads first, and find a place to put them later.

Web-cable hybrid Oxygen runs out of air

Owen Thomas · 10/09/07 03:19PM

What took NBC so long? That's the only question that came to mind when I saw that Geraldine Laybourne, at long last, had sold her struggling women's cable-TV channel to NBC Universal for $925 million. The fact that I'm describing it as, yes, a "cable-TV channel" speaks to Oxygen's failure. Conceived in 2000 as a multimedia empire that would bridge the Web and TV, Oxygen failed to thrive in either medium. Backer Oprah Winfrey, Laybourne disclosed to Advertising Age, quietly backed out of the venture some time ago. For NBC, Oxygen is a natural add-on, a minor expansion of its cable lineup. As for Oxygen.com, it, too, is far smaller than NBC's iVillage, which NBC has struggled to integrate. Eventually, the Peacock may figure out how to merge its disparate networks — broadcast, cable, and Web, But if it was hoping to buy a recipe for doing so from Laybourne, NBC will just be cooking up disaster.

At iVillage, NBC makes all the same mistakes

Mary Jane Irwin · 08/14/07 11:40AM

NBC has relearned, at great cost, a valuable lesson. The Web is more than the Wild West. One doesn't profit by simply squatting on land; it actually has to be developed. Beth Comstock, NBC's president of integrated media, dazzled the Net with NBC's acquisition of women's health site iVillage. She boasted how the purchase gave NBC "scale and a profitable, established platform to expand [its] digital efforts." It would allow the company to connect "more deeply online, on mobile and on demand with key consumers throughout their various life stages." Now, Comstock admits she bet wrong, to the tune of $600 million.