AOL Shutting Down Asylum, Lemondrop

In recent years, AOL often touted the sophomoric male-targeted site Asylum and the edgy women-aimed Lemondrop as examples of the company’s content-centric future. Both blended original content and aggregation from across the Web, and both were non AOL-branded. Now, both are on their way out.

According to, Asylum will shut down by the end of January, while Lemondrop will be absorbed into the AOL Women’s group.

Both sites have been able to draw traffic. AOL execs had often boasted of Asylum as being No. 1 in the men’s category. But the sites are also relics from the pre-Tim Armstrong era, when AOL was launching 100-plus brands as part of its MediaGlow strategy, while touting page view growth.

After several rounds of disappointing earnings, however, it appears as though CEO Armstrong is axing sites that aren’t proven moneymakers. It will be interesting to see whether AOL further pulls back on original content produced by full-time journalists on sites such as Politics Daily and Daily Finance, in favor of content produced by freelancers as part of its Seed platform.