The Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) Company is expanding its interactive division’s “parenting portfolio” with the acquisition of mom blog network Babble Media. According to the press release, obtained by AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, five-year-old Babble brings with it 200 mom bloggers, who will be “infused” with Disney’s existing “evergreen content” from its other Moms and Family offerings.
Financial terms were not disclosed. The news comes a week after Disney reported its fiscal year earnings, which were largely positive — the Interactive Media unit was the only segment operating at a loss.
Since birth never goes out of style, mom blogs continue to be one of the hottest areas of the web, as Brooke Chaffin, SVP of Moms and Family, Disney Interactive Media Group, noted in a statement that there are more than 3.9 million mom blogs in the U.S. alone. But not everyone can make a business out of it.
Last month, for example, Gannett (NYSE: GCI) shuttered and deleted all the content from its 100-plus site network MomsLikeMe, which also had an extensive hyperlocal angle to it. After launching in 2006 by Gannett’s The Indianapolis Star, the 100 sites in MomsLikeMe were only generating a collective 800,000 unique users a month — for a large media company like Gannett, that’s not a lot of users and as a result, the company couldn’t scale that business and decided to pull the plug.
As one of the world’s largest entertainment companies, and one centered around family fare, Disney should have an easier time than Gannett did in supporting its new moms blog network. Babble has positioned itself as a cool mom blog, which is pretty typical these days. The channel topics also cover the usual areas of pregnancy, child care, health, food, family activities as well as lifestyle topics such as home, fashion and family products.
To be sure, Babble has been able to get a lot of media attention before this, thanks in part to its experienced executive team — one clear difference from the hundreds of other mom blog networks. The company was founded by Rufus Griscom and his wife, Alisa Volkman. Before this, Griscom co-founded the literary and sometimes racy datings and relationships site Nerve.com in 1997 and served as the website’s first editor and CEO.
Along with Griscom, Kyle Waxman is the VP of national ad sales at Babble. He served in the same role for Kaboose, the kids and family blog and entertainment site that was bought by Disney for $18.4 million in April 2009.