Maza's Bazaar

About me I'm a writer in new york. previously, i worked at the baltimore sun, where i covered the music industry and youth culture, and at the miami new times, where i wrote cover stories on cuban punks and strippers, AMONG OTHER THINGS. Im now an editor at Women's Wear Daily.*

erikmaza[at]gmail[dot]com

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obvs, anything i write in this biblical scroll should not be mistaken for the views of whatever entity ive conned into employing me.

A timeline of The Times’ protracted break-up with About.com
Love at first sight:
2005: The Times acquires About.com for $410M. “This deal provides a very attractive return on our investment going forward,” said then chief financial officer Leonard P. Forman, who retired two years later. 
The honeymoon:
Also in 2005: Morgan Stanley’s Hassan Elmasry “worried that About.com, lacking an established brand, could easily be surpassed by a rival product from Google Inc. or Yahoo”
2006: “In the second quarter, revenue generated by its Internet-related businesses, including About.com […], jumped 35% to $66.1 million.”
Feb. 2007: “Mr. Sulzberger, in his speech, defended About.com’s expanding margins, saying they increased to 38 percent in 2006 from 27 percent in 2005”
Denial:
Jan, 2009: “Revenue at About.com dropped 2.9 percent to $29.8 million because of falling display advertising.”    

July, 2009: “The company’s Internet revenue, a bright spot even into last year, fell 14.3 percent, to $78.2 million, including a 5.1 percent decline at the About Group.”
2010: “Despite the inflated prices paid for internet companies in recent years, Ms [Janet] Robinson said she did not overpay for About.com, calling it “a very good investment”

May 2011: “About has been underperforming in recent months, helping to drag down the Times Company’s overall profit. In the first quarter, About.com’s page views declined and revenue fell 10.2 percent to $31.1 million.”
Summer 2011: “Since the economy had collapsed in 2008, [Michael] Golden and others had begun to wonder if Robinson had missed a window to sell when the Globe and About.com were worth a combined estimated $1 billion.”
The break-up:
February, 2012: “About Group revenues dropped 25.9 percent, year over year, to $26.1  million, due to declines in cost-per-click and display advertising, the company reported.” 
July 2012: “A $194.7 million write-down of About.com weighed on profits.”
Today: “The company has a letter of intent to sell the About Group, the unit that includes About.com, to Answers.com for $270 million, the executive said.”

A timeline of The Times’ protracted break-up with About.com

Love at first sight:

2005: The Times acquires About.com for $410M. “This deal provides a very attractive return on our investment going forward,” said then chief financial officer Leonard P. Forman, who retired two years later. 

The honeymoon:

Also in 2005: Morgan Stanley’s Hassan Elmasry “worried that About.com, lacking an established brand, could easily be surpassed by a rival product from Google Inc. or Yahoo”

2006: “In the second quarter, revenue generated by its Internet-related businesses, including About.com […], jumped 35% to $66.1 million.”

Feb. 2007: “Mr. Sulzberger, in his speech, defended About.com’s expanding margins, saying they increased to 38 percent in 2006 from 27 percent in 2005”

Denial:

Jan, 2009: “Revenue at About.com dropped 2.9 percent to $29.8 million because of falling display advertising.”    

July, 2009: “The company’s Internet revenue, a bright spot even into last year, fell 14.3 percent, to $78.2 million, including a 5.1 percent decline at the About Group.”

2010: “Despite the inflated prices paid for internet companies in recent years, Ms [Janet] Robinson said she did not overpay for About.com, calling it “a very good investment”

May 2011: “About has been underperforming in recent months, helping to drag down the Times Company’s overall profit. In the first quarter, About.com’s page views declined and revenue fell 10.2 percent to $31.1 million.”

Summer 2011: “Since the economy had collapsed in 2008, [Michael] Golden and others had begun to wonder if Robinson had missed a window to sell when the Globe and About.com were worth a combined estimated $1 billion.”

The break-up:

February, 2012: “About Group revenues dropped 25.9 percent, year over year, to $26.1  million, due to declines in cost-per-click and display advertising, the company reported.” 

July 2012: “A $194.7 million write-down of About.com weighed on profits.”

Today: “The company has a letter of intent to sell the About Group, the unit that includes About.com, to Answers.com for $270 million, the executive said.”


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