SOURCE: Hearst

March 26, 2008 06:00 ET

Hearst Magazines to Acquire Answerology

Online Q&A Community Platform to Be Integrated Into Hearst's Sites

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 26, 2008) - Hearst Magazines today announced that it will acquire the assets of Answerology, a question and answer platform focused on content and community. The announcement was made by Cathleen P. Black, president, Hearst Magazines and Matthew Milner, Answerology's founder. Answerology (www.answerology.com) will be managed by Hearst Magazines Digital Media. Effective immediately, Milner will become a full-time employee of Hearst Magazines and will serve as VP, community and social media, overseeing community for the company's digital media unit. He will report to Chris Johnson, VP, content and business development, Hearst Magazines Digital Media. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Launched officially in 2005, Answerology is operated in New York City with an overseas technology team. The site and core technology enable members to pose questions to a targeted community around relationship-related topics such as dating, family, career, and marriage. Community members can ask a question anonymously and select the demographic they'd like to get responses from (e.g. 22 - 25-year-old Male Intellectuals from Boston). The premise of the site is that the most valuable answers for "life questions" come from the community, more specifically, people with relevant background and experience. Questions are posted on the site and emailed to registered users matching the target demographic. All answers are rated and frequent participants with high rankings are highlighted in the community.

With this acquisition, Hearst will substantially advance its online community profiles and help bridge the gap between editorial expertise and community participation on its sites. Answerology's Q&A technology will be integrated expeditiously into Hearst's portfolio of web sites.

"Service journalism is all about helping people find answers to their questions, from trusted experts. That's what we do in our magazines and on our magazine-branded web sites every day. Answerology offers us a new type of service journalism, using a 'wisdom of the masses' model built on the expertise of users who are like you," said Johnson. "Matt has done a great job building a robust online community based on the advice of real people on particular topics of interest -- something we think will translate incredibly well into Hearst's web sites and magazine brands."

"It's been tremendously rewarding to build Answerology as a community where users can tap into the wisdom and objective advice of thousands of people from around the globe," said Milner. "I am excited to be bringing my knowledge of community and Q&A technology to Hearst's diverse communities of consumers looking for answers and advice on topics that matter to them."

About Answerology

Based in New York City, Answerology was founded by Matthew Milner, a banker and author, initially as a promotional effort for his romantic comedy novel, Guy Critical. As the site built an audience, Matthew invested in developing the platform and renamed it Answerology. With its proprietary Q&A platform, the Company now aims to help people improve all their relationships -- with their romantic partners, and with their family, friends and colleagues. It's all about having a better life through shared experience.

About Hearst Magazines Digital Media

Launched in March 2006, Hearst Magazines Digital Media, a unit of Hearst Magazines, is dedicated to creating and implementing the digital online and mobile strategy for Hearst's magazine brands and other sites which serve the company's consumers and audience. The unit has launched or re-launched 18 web sites and nine mobile sites for brands such as Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire and Seventeen, as well as non-magazine brand sites such as TheDailyGreen.com, MisQuinceMag.com and MyPromStyle.com. During this time, Hearst Digital has also acquired the eCrush Network (eCRUSH.com, eSPIN.com), Kaboodle.com and RealAge.com to round out its growing portfolio of interests for teens and women.

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