Walt Disney Internet Group says it plans to unify several sites under its ABC.com property later this year in an effort to cut costs. The new site, to launch in September, will "take full advantage of all the resources of ABC, the Walt Disney Internet Group and Disney's new relationship with Us Weekly," according to a company statement. Meant to appeal to a younger audience, it will publish news and entertainment from Seattle-based sites Mr. Showbiz and Wall of Sound, which will both cease to operate as independent sites. Seattle operations will be consolidated in Los Angeles.
In late January, Disney said it would discontinue operations of its troubled Go.com Web portal and focus its Internet operations on its core brands of Disney, ABC and ESPN. The following month, the company joined with Rolling Stone publisher Wenner Media in plans for a new entertainment publishing company, called Us Weekly--after one of Wenner's New York-based publications. The new publishing company promotes Disney's offerings and the Us Weekly magazine.