Time Inc. is on a shopping spree. After acquiring pop culture website HelloGiggles last week, the company has closed a deal to acquire XoJane and XoVain, two websites founded by famed magazine editor Jane Pratt, from Say Media, both companies confirmed Tuesday. (Disclosure: Say Media operates Fashionista's advertising network and CMS.)
The acquisitions come as Time Inc. battles precipitous declines in print ad revenue and newsstand sales across its magazine brands, which include People, Time, Sports Illustrated and InStyle. The acquisitions could help the company substantially grow its digital audience — though they themselves need to grow a bit first. According to data provided by Comscore, XoJane averaged 1.9 million uniques between August and September, while XoVain averaged 670,000 over those two months. Time Inc., however, claims their combined audience numbers more than 10 million.
Pratt, the founder of Sassy and Jane magazines, launched XoJane in 2011 under the Say Media umbrella; a beauty site, XoVain, followed in 2013. XoJane, which targets young millennial women interested in non-aspirational stories about sex, love, women's rights and entertainment, has found particular success with the personal essay format, and has a formed a large, vocal community on its site. Say Media announced that both websites were up for sale in November of last year as the publisher shifted away from owning and operating websites to powering the advertising network and technology platforms behind them. Pratt told a reporter at the New York Post that XoJane and XoVain were set to be acquired by a media company (one that didn't own any magazines) in May, but that deal failed to materialize.
Pratt will remain on board as editor-in-chief, reporting to Deborah Marquardt, vice president and general manager of Time Inc.'s Style Network. According to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story, Pratt and her editorial staff are expected to move to Time Inc.'s new headquarters in lower Manhattan before the end of the year.
This story was updated with information provided by Time Inc.