TW buys Africana.com to link to black aud

Site to be included under AOL umbrella with shared content

In a move to connect with the growing number of African-Americans online, Time Warner said Thursday that it will acquire Web portal Africana.com, a site that focuses on culture, health and social issues.

According to the company, Africana.com will be a key component of Time Warner’s strategy for targeting the African-American market. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based site was founded in 1999 by Harvard educators Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Kwame Anthony Appiah, along with Harry M. Lasker III. Time Warner has secured a consulting agreement with Gates and Appiah.

AOL umbrella

Upon completion of Time Warner’s planned merger with America Online, skedded to close this fall, the companies will fully integrate Africana.com under the AOL umbrella and cross-fertilize content. For example, Africana.com will benefit from news content from CNN and Time and vice versa, Time Warner spokesman Scott Miller said.

Along with its original content, Africana.com also offers access to 80 radio stations and an e-mail service. Site receives more than 500,000 monthly visits and 3.6 million page views.

Africana.com will be AOL’s second Web site that targets African-Americans. Company also has a stake in NetNoir, an entertainment news Web site.

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