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Sept. 12, 2011, 6:34 p.m.

NYT Co. sells entertainment database to old owner

Here’s something interesting: The New York Times apparently owned a TV and film database that tracked development and production data from the entertainment industry. I say owned because they sold it late last week, just five weeks after buying it. And they sold it to the same people they bought it from:

“Mitch Rubinstein and Laurie Silvers of Hollywood Media Corp. sold Baseline to the New York Times in August 2006. Their new company, Project Hollywood LLC, was the buyer on Friday.”

The price of the deal is estimated at less than the $35 million the Times Company reportedly paid in 2006.

When the Times bought Baseline in 2006 it saw it as a lucrative way of broadening their portfolio beyond newspapers and parts of baseball teams. As it turns out Baseline had a familiar business model to newspapers, as the NYT wrote in 2006:

The $35 million purchase extends the Times Company’s reach into the entertainment world and adds a source of subscription income to the company’s Internet operations. Subscriptions account for three-quarters of the $6 million in revenue that the Times Company expects Baseline to receive this year.

It looks like the biggest subscription service they’re focusing on at the moment is paywalls at the Times and Globe, especially since reporting net losses of $120 million in the second quarter of this year.

Also worth noting: The Times Company other big acquisition in 2006? About.com, which is also not without its own problems at the moment.

POSTED     Sept. 12, 2011, 6:34 p.m.
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