Report: IAC may sell smaller businesses

According to PaidContent, some of the Barry Diller-led conglomerate's "programming" sites may be sold off, as it tries to weather the recession.

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

A report on PaidContent suggests that InterActiveCorp, the media conglomerate owned by Barry Diller, may be looking to sell off some of its smaller ad-supported content properties--effectively, tossing assets overboard to lighten the load during rough financial seas.

According to PaidContent, IAC may be "dissolving" its "programming" group, a set of ad-supported content businesses that includes CollegeHumor, 236.com (a joint venture with The Huffington Post), Very Short List, and the brand-new The Daily Beast. The restructuring reportedly involves the departure of Nick Lehman, chief operating officer of the programming group.

A CollegeHumor executive told CNET News in an e-mail that the comedy site would not be sold. IAC took a majority stake in its parent company, Connected Ventures, which also owns BustedTees and Vimeo, two years ago.

More likely? News comedy site 236 may become wholly owned by The Huffington Post, which just raised $25 million in funding. Very Short List, an e-mail newsletter, may also be up for sale.

IAC underwent a five-way split earlier this year as Diller, convinced that the unfocused nature of the conglomerate was keeping share prices down, spun off properties such as Ticketmaster and LendingTree in order to focus on online media businesses.