Conde Nast to buy Wired News

Company, which already owns Wired magazine, pays $25 million to acquire troubled online site Wired News.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills
2 min read
Conde Nast, which bought Wired magazine eight years ago, is paying $25 million to acquire troubled online site Wired News from Lycos, the companies said late Tuesday.

Conde Nast, whose roster of publications includes The New Yorker, Vogue and Architectural Digest, will retain the 15 to 20 Wired News staffers, according to Daum Communications of Korea, which bought Lycos two years ago. The Wired News staff is located in the same building as the print magazine in downtown San Francisco.

Lycos will retain Hotbot, Hotwired and Webmonkey, the other Wired Digital properties.

"Wired News has always been synonymous with Wired Magazine, so it made sense for Lycos to transfer Wired News to Conde Nast, the parent company of Wired Magazine," Alfred Tolle, chief executive of Lycos, said in a statement. "Wired News continues to be a leading brand in online news and this new ownership with strengthen both Wired News and Wired Magazine, creating better synergy between the two media brands."

Steve Newhouse, chairman of the Advance.Net web division of Advance Publications, the privately held parent company of Conde Nast, said reuniting Wired News with Wired magazine had been a longtime goal.

"Wired's focus on innovation and how technology is changing the world can now be matched with our own innovation and experimentation with new ways of doing media online," said Chris Anderson, Wired Magazine's editor-in-chief. "We're bursting with ideas and can't wait to put them into practice."

The move comes as online advertising is pushing revenues at Google and other Internet companies to record levels.

A year ago Wired News laid off about half its employees, including all staff writers. Editors have been relying on freelancers and wire reports to populate the site with news since then.

Wired News is the successor to HotWired.com, a news and commentary site that was an early user of now standard technologies like dynamically generated Web pages, user subscriptions, online chats and banner ads. Wired magazine, which was launched in 1993 and founded by Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe, was a pioneer in covering the Internet and digital culture.

In 1999, Conde Nast bought the print magazine and Lycos bought Wired Digital in a stock deal valued at $83 million at the time. Two years ago, South Korea's Daum Communications bought Lycos, once a high-flying Internet portal itself.