New York Times Dumps About.com, Says It Needs to Focus on Itself

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Pedestrians pass in front of the New York Times Co. building in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. New York Times Co., publisher of the namesake newspaper, said more than 100,000 people signed up for new digital subscriptions, a sign online revenue may help offset a decline in print advertising and circulation. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photo: Bloomberg/2011 Bloomberg

Seven years ago, the New York Times Company was impressed with About.com's "early expertise in search engine optimization" and "expert content," says Arthur Sulzberger Jr., but on Sunday the company announced that it's selling the website to Barry Diller's IAC for $300 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. In the past year the Times has unloaded its stake in the Boston Red Sox and sixteen regional newspapers, and it says About.com's sale will allow the company to "focus on the development and growth of our core brands," including the Times, the Boston Globe and International Herald Tribune. The Times shouldn't expect About.com to answer its 3 a.m. online searches the next time it needs to tell readers how to wash a backpack.