Calacanis to sell Weblogs Inc. for a cool $25 mil (to not-cool AOL)

We’re not snobs at Fishbowl, we’re just taking his word on it: at last week’s “One Big Blog” panel moderated by Ken Auletta and featuring Jason Calacanis, Ana Marie Cox and Huffington Post co-founder Kenneth Lerer, the question of whther he’d sell to AOL was pointedly raised by Auletta:

Calacanis: …AOL. AOL will be part of Google or Microsoft in the future.

Auletta: Speaking of AOL, have you been considering selling out to them?

Calacanis [not missing a beat]: News Corp. Microsoft. Google. Then AOL. That order. Wanna talk after this? [guffaws] … I wouldn’t want to sell to someone who’d want to filter bloggers though. It would take a very big, a very big visionary company, with lots of cash [audience laughs] to buy us.

Well, Calcanis found his “visionary company” in fourth-place pick AOL, selling for $25 million.

So, what’s not “cool” about AOL, besides the fact that the founder of its (allegedly) latest acquisition thinks it’s the hump-backed bridesmaide to three other blushing brides? Well, AOL’s subscriber base has been in decline, and as media companies go, Calacanis is right: it’s not the first bridesmaid on the dance floor. Even so, it’s a sweet deal for Calacanis, whose ace-in-the-hole site Engadget is third-ranked on Technorati (rival Gawker Media’s Gizmodo trails at #5 but by all accounts is still more multi-lingual), which helps bring his web of 100 85 blogs together with more ad revenue which is, of course, good for AOL.

Despite this deal, we still don’t think Calacanis will be able to hire Wonkette. Just a feeling.

UPDATE: The purchase price has actually not been disclosed; $25 million is a rumor/estimate. Also, semi-hot headline from MSNBC: “AOL Blogs Harder.” AOL: The New Giant Squid of Blogging!

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Good Lord, they have positively flooded the zone over at Blogebrity. They have EVERYTHING you could EVER want to know about this deal, plus round-ups from all the pundits. Chekkit here.



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