Summary:

With the About Group experiencing some struggles on the revenue front, the New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) has decided to sell that unit’…

Online Health - doctors - medicine
photo: Corbis / Dennis Degnan

With the About Group experiencing some struggles on the revenue front, the New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) has decided to sell that unit’s UCompareHealthCare.com unit to MDxMedical, parent company of Vitals.com. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ucompare offers ratings of health care facilities and professionals. The NYTCo acquired the site in March 2007.

For awhile, Ucompare, along with About’s previous acquisition, Calorie-Count, helped boost revenues at the unit significantly. But since the recession, About has had some ups and downs. For the most part, 2010 was a resurgent year. But then, in Q4, the About Group saw revenues drop 3 percent to $35.2 million. The reason for the decline was pinned on lower cost-per-click and display advertising. In contrast, digital advertising revenues at the News Media Group, which houses the NYTimes.com, rose 18.3 percent thanks to the flow of national dollars.

About also experienced a 10 percent drop in profits as expenses ticked up about 4 percent.

Health care sites have become increasingly popular, but the space has also become pretty crowded, so this deal could be part of a larger consolidation. Combined, the UCompare and Vitals.com claim that they’ll be visited more than 100 million times annually by patients. Whether advertisers will take note of that and shift more spending to the site remains to be seen, given how much health content is already available online. Release

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