News Corp. Sells Beliefnet To BN Media; Layoffs Begin

News Corp. and Beliefnet

Beliefnet, the multi-faith-based news and discussion site, has laid off a “great number” of staffers today in advance of News Corp.’s sale of the company to BN Media, paidContent has learned. An announcement is expected this afternoon. Representatives from News Corp (NSDQ: NWS). and Beliefnet did not return calls seeking comment.

Last May, AllThingsD reported that News Corp., which acquired the site in 2007, was shopping it around. Back in October, Steve Waldman, who cofounded the site in 1999 and stayed as president and editor-in-chief after the sale, left the company to take a post with the FCC. The exact number of the Beliefnet staffers being let go wasn’t clear, nor was the sale price. We will update when we have more details.

BN Media is the investment group behind long-distance services company Affinity4 and religious online video operator Cross Bridge Media, according to a Belifnet memo written by Beliefnet GM/COO Beth-Ann Eason (which is embedded below). Beliefnet has had existing relationships with both those entities.

In the past, Waldman said he and co-founder Bob Nylen, who died in 2008, had the idea to form the site because they felt that people of faith weren’t fully served in the social net space. As the site grew from an idea to reality, Beliefnet scored an undisclosed angel round. It later raised $7 million in funding from Softbank Capital.

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Everyone,

This afternoon we are announcing that Beliefnet has been acquired by BN Media, LLC, which is the investment group behind Affinity4 and Cross Bridge Media, companies many of you know due to our successful working relationships with them over the past year. This course of events begins a new chapter for Beliefnet, and it

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