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Gawker Media sells Consumerist blog

The blog, which is often an outlet for consumer complaints, will become a new division within the publisher of Consumer Reports.

Gawker Media announced Tuesday that it has sold its Consumerist blog to Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports.

The blog, which is often an outlet for consumer complaints, will become a new division within the publisher. The current editorial staff is expected to remain, and there are no plans to change coverage, according to a report in The New York Times.

"We don't want to acquire the Consumerist and then squelch it in some way," Kevin McKean, vice president and editorial director of Consumers Union, told the newspaper.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close Thursday, were not revealed.

Nick Denton, founder and president of Gawker Media, put the blog up for sale in November, on the same day he made public his decision to shut down Valleywag, the blog network's Silicon Valley gossip title. He also announced Tuesday his plans to sell the gossip site Defamer.

Denton, who also sold off three of its smallest blogs in April, said the softening online advertising market led to the decision to sell the blogs. On the same day he announced his intentions to sell the Consumerist blog, Denton published a detailed missive about his dire predictions for the online ad market.

"I think people have generally been too optimistic" about online ads, Denton told the Times on Tuesday.

Denton's handling of Gawker has been frugal, continually consolidating resources toward the blogs that were pulling in traffic and ad dollars. Early in October, Denton orchestrated a personnel shuffling that saw 14 percent of the company's editorial staff laid off but new hires made at some of the most successful titles like gadget blog Gizmodo and feminist chronicle Jezebel.