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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Comcast Sets Deal to Buy Daily Candy

Comcast Corp. has struck a deal to acquire Daily Candy, an email fashion and culture newsletter aimed at women. Comcast is paying $125 million for the property, according to people familiar with the matter.

With 2.5 million readers, the email newsletter is of growing interest to advertisers who are migrating to new, Internet-based ways of reaching targeted demographics. The newsletter has an especially large base of affluent woman in urban areas.

Comcast is purchasing Daily Candy from investment firm Pilot Group LLC. Under the arrangement, Daily Candy will become part of Comcast's Interactive Media division, the company said. The unit also houses other Comcast Internet properties, including the Fancast online video site, and movie-information sites Fandango and Movies.com.

Comcast will try to further boost Daily Candy's audience by aggressively promoting it across its other Web properties, Sam Schwartz, Comcast Interactive Media executive vice president, said in an interview.

The company's Comcast.net Web portal, for example, is among the 10 most popular destinations on the Web by some measures. Daily Candy's content, meanwhile, can be used to add material to Comcast properties with a consumer and lifestyle focus.

Daily Candy also will mesh with Comcast's lifestyle-oriented television holdings, such as the E! Entertainment channel, Mr. Schwartz said. The email newsletter was founded by Dany Levy, who sent out the first Daily Candy newsletter in March 2000. She will remain editorial director. Daily Candy publishes 13 daily editions and eight weekly editions.

One of Comcast Interactive Media's strategic objectives is to build primarily ad supported, online businesses and Daily Candy will contribute to that goal, Mr. Schwartz said.

The unit is also tasked with helping Comcast take advantage of emerging trends, such as the growing popularity of Web video.

By: Vishesh Kumar
Wall Street Journal; August 6, 2008