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Updated: Beliefnet Being Bought By News Corp; Cable Ties Possible; Not Buying LinkedIn

Beliefnet, the NYC-based multi-faith community site which has been around since 1999 and has gone through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, has finally been bought. The buyer is News Corp…yes, the company has found faith, well, multi-faith, according to FishBowlNYC and since then also confirmed to us by sources. Beliefnet was launched in December 1999 and has been profitable since October 2002, according to the company…it raised a $7 million round from Softbank Capital in 2005. Lots more updates after the jump..

Meanwhile, another hot rumor, that LinkedIn was in talks with News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) may not come to fruition. Reuters (NSDQ: RTRSY) said in a story that the talks were not happening, and are talking about future partnerships only.

imageStaci adds: News Corp.-Beliefnet is not as far-fetched as it seems when you consider News Corp.’s faith-based efforts including Fox Faith, the 20th Century Fox line of movies aimed at the religious set and operating under Fox Home Entertainment, publishing houses HarperOne and Zondervan. (According to Christianity Today, some producers have complained about the marketing and promotion efforts behind the films.) Also, there are cable possibilities here and even digital video distribution. Over at SAI, some eyebrow raising at the fact that this is being handled by Dan Fawcett, head of Fox Digital Media, rather than Pete Levinsohn at FIM. Yes, it’s a website, but it doesn’t fit at all with FIM while Fawcett’s small group already makes deals that involve a number of entities across Fox. In fact, this marks the official start of an expanded role for Fawcett, whose background includes EVP-programming and business & legal affairs for DirecTV (NYSE: DTV) and EVP-business and legal affairs for Fox Cable Networks. His group will now be responsible not only for extending the Fox Entertainment’s cable, TV and film brands online but for finding new opportunities including acquisitions like Beliefnet.

— The deal does have a FIM tie-in: Beliefnet will be using FIM’s targeted ad delivery platform.

Update: The announcement is out. The acquisition is by the Fox Entertainment Group –no amount disclosed although I can confirm it’s a blend of cash and earnout — with Beliefnet becoming part of Fox Digital Media. As we wrote last night, Beliefnet fits in with Fox’s efforts in the fast-growing faith-based area: “The acquisition provides Beliefnet with vast resources to further build and enhance its already popular brand. It also offers an online platform for FEG to distribute content from its extensive media library and for News Corp. to expand its faith-based businesses, including HarperCollins

3 Responses to “Updated: Beliefnet Being Bought By News Corp; Cable Ties Possible; Not Buying LinkedIn”

  1. John C. Smith

    Don't think this is at all far-fetched but rather a good buy.

    Category-killing vertical content will always be valuable; "faith" is a huge category under-served by traditional media; Beliefnet has great thoughtful content and owns the category online.

  2. Well there are so many rumors going on but Linkedin id not affected at all. Linkedin is 1 of the popular business networking site as of now they don't need to let anyone takeover them.Linkedin is pretty cool & it’s very professional as well. It helps in growing your contacts which will benefit you on a professional level. On Linkedin people are there for purpose than for fun.
    And now its getting even more popular cause i can access my Linkedin a/c thru my mobile without internet, I’ve become an active user of it. Check this out: