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Citysearch syndication deal: AOL and IAC's Valentine's Day hookup

AOL will be featuring content from the IAC-owned Citysearch on a number of its properties in exchange for ad inventory.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy

This post was updated at 11:24 AM on Friday, Feb. 15 to clarify AOL's use of Citysearch ad listings.

InterActiveCorp chair Barry Diller recently went on the record saying that he wouldn't buy AOL unless somebody handed it to him for free. But that doesn't rule out content partnerships: AOL announced Thursday that it has formed a partnership with Citysearch, the IAC-owned business directory.

Citysearch content, including reviews, photos, editorial content, and videos, will be featured on a number of AOL sites like AOL CityGuide, AOL Local Search, and MapQuest. In return, AOL will display Citysearch's "paid listing" advertisements on those sites as well.

The deal comes at a rough time for the New York-headquartered parent companies as both attempt to invigorate their focus on ad revenues. The struggling AOL may be split into two businesses to separate its once-ubiquitous Internet access service from its ad-supported media properties. IAC, meanwhile, is spinning off its retail-oriented brands and keeping its digital media properties intact. Citysearch, along with properties like Ask.com, Evite, and Match.com, will be part of the "new IAC."