PaidContent has learned that Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE: DNB), the business information company, has put AllBusiness.com, the information and news site for small businesses, under review. D&B bought the website for $55 million back in 2007.
Two separate sources close to the situation told paidContent that Greg Stern, VP at AllBusiness, yesterday sent an email out to its freelancers, telling them that it was “evaluating its strategic options” for AllBusiness.com. It further said it would “no longer be accepting blog postings and other editorial contributions” and that any contracts they had with the company were terminated. They were also requested to file invoices as soon as possible for work that had been commissioned. The full text of the email is below.
Both sources also said that editorial staff were getting laid off. Their last day will be this Friday.
We have reached out to a spokesperson from D&B to confirm all of this and to get more detail on what those “strategic options” might be. We will update the story as we learn more.
Update: No response yet from D&B, but Peter Horan, once CEO of AllBusiness.com before it was sold to D&B, tweeted that Allbusiness was in an active sale process. “Non media companies like the idea of media more than they like media business,” he also wrote. “[Allbusiness] has great team and great tech.” Also: two other possible traffic figures from the site, from Quantcast (505,000); and a commenter on this post, who cites Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Display Network’s recent numbers as 1.3 million uniques.
Update 2: A D&B spokesperson has confirmed that the company is evaluating strategic options for AllBusiness.com, without elaborating further. [original article continues below]
In terms of the traffic on AllBusiness.com, the numbers one finds online vary greatly: a note from the company’s regional sales manager in Texas on LinkedIn notes that the company has “3 million+” monthly unique visitors; Compete says monthly visitors are close to 581,000 in November 2011, and dropping. Links on AllBusiness.com’s “about” page to advertise on the site go directly to the homepage for D&B.
Nor is it clear how well AllBusiness is doing financially. D&B noted in its last quarterly results(Q3 2011) that its Internet Solutions division — which includes AllBusiness, the financial information site Hoovers and the web portal for DNB.com’s portfolio of services — grew revenues by eight percent over the same quarter a year ago, to $31.5 million. Total company revenues were $439.4 million, meaning that Internet Solutions represented only about seven percent of overall sales.
AllBusiness has had a rollercoaster of a ride in the world of online media: started in 1999, the site got bought by NBC (NSDQ: CMCSA) Internet for an eye-watering $225 million in 2000, before then getting taken private. It was eventually sold to D&B for $55 million in 2007.
Always a promising idea — news focussed on the small-business world — that perhaps proved challenging in long-term business execution, ultimately ending up with a company for which AllBusiness’ main currency, content, was not core enough.
The letter to contributors:
Thank you for being a valued contributor to AllBusiness.com.
I am writing to let you know that D&B is evaluating its strategic options for AllBusiness.com. During that process, we will not be accepting blog postings and other editorial contributions.
Therefore, we are asking you to please cease work on AllBusiness.com projects and submit an invoice for all outstanding payments as soon as possible. Specific assignments already in progress do not need to be completed, but should be included in the invoice.
Please note that this letter will serve as notice that your contract with D&B is being terminated.
Thank you again. We have a tremendous appreciation of all your contributions and support in helping to make AllBusiness.com the Web’s premier small business resource.