Gawker’s Consumerist.com bought by Consumers Union

Filed as News on January 1, 2009 5:22 pm

While many of us were eating, drinking and “Auld Lang Syne-ing” over the past week or so, Consumers Union has been busy securing a deal with Gawker Media to acquire Consumerist.com.

The non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports is bringing its independent, unbiased publishing policy to the site; from today, Consumerist.com will no longer carry ads.

President and CEO of Consumers Union, Jim Guest, spoke of his delight in adding such a vibrant site to its portfolio of information products. It’s most definitely a case of well-established traditional media taking on hugely popular new media – over 70 years of publishing buying out a three-year-old boasting around ten million monthly page views.

The site announces what will change (Chris and Carey are back, Meghann Marco is promoted to co-executive editor and will reign supreme alongside Ben Popken, The only ads will be for Consumer Reports and Consumers Union-related stuff, and new privacy policy/user agreement) and what won’t (same voice, content, independence, subscription-free service, and same commenting system).

Consumer Reports and ConsumerReports.org claim robust growth both in print and online, and presumably this deal will help to strengthen their brands as well as provide new support for Consumerist.com.

What do you think about the deal?

Consumerist.com announcement (via New York Times)

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  1. By Michael Karesh posted on January 2, 2009 at 6:21 am
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    I’m personally concerned about this purchase.

    I operate TrueDelta.com, which provides vehicle reliability information. Our information has two large advantages over that of Consumer Reports:

    1. Report actual repair rates, not just vague dots, to make the differences between models much clearer.

    2. Results promptly updated four times a year; so our information averages about ten months ahead of CR’s.

    But, since we’re a competitor, you’ll never see CR mention our information, and I’m personally not allowed to mention my site in their forums–even when I have information that they cannot provide. Now that they’ve bought the Consumerist, I suspect the same will be true for it.

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