Gawker to sell Consumerist blog to Consumers Union

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screenshot081.pngGawker Media has sold the Consumerist blog to the publisher of Consumer Reports, Consumers Union, according to the New York Times. The blog, which is often the place where consumers place their complaints about stores and products, is expected to become a division within the new owner, and the current editorial staff is not expected to change and will remain publishing the blog.

Terms were not disclosed, but the deal is expected to close on Thursday, or New Years Day (in US Eastern Standard Time).

Among the changes, Meghann Marco has been promoted to co-executive editor alongside current executive editor Ben Popken; and the two former editors for the Consumerist that were sacked by Nick Denton, Carey Greenberg-Berger and Chris Walters, will return to the blog. As well, a new privacy policy will be introduced – because of the new owners.

“When Consumers Union was formed, it was a pretty snarky, aggressive organization that took on big organizations just like Consumerist is doing today; it’s just going to an audience that we basically don’t reach,” John Sateja, executive vice president of Consumer Reports, told the newspaper.

“It may not be language, or voice or style that Consumers Union has, in recent years, become accustomed to, but it is part of the roots of the organization.”

Nick Denton, the founder and president of the Gawker Media, announced that the blog was up for sale around the same time when it consolidated Valleywag into the Gawker blog, a gossip blog centric around New York. He has also announced that he will sell the gossip blog Defamer in order to cut back on costs.

While Consumers Union makes money off subscriptions from its Consumer Reports website and magazines, the Consumerist is expected to be free and not have any subscription-based model. Also, the new deal will allow them to reach a more younger audience, as an average subscriber to Consumer Reports is 50, while the average age of Consumerist readers is between 18 to 49, according to Quantcast.