Femme-centric site to tie in with Bravo, Oxygen

It’s the second coming of iVillage.

NBC Universal is retooling its popular femme-centric Web presence to dovetail with its Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, especially Bravo and Oxygen. The entertainment section of the site, now sponsored by Hasbro, will debut Wednesday with food, health, parenting, style and astrology sections going live in coming weeks.

Org-wide talent including Jay Leno, Amy Poehler and Brian Williams will be involved in the site’s original content, while multiple networks will support the site with house ads and a spot this morning on “Today.” NBC U entities like “Access Hollywood” and fan website Television Without Pity will provide stories for the entertainment section.

This isn’t the first time NBC has tried to reinvent the popular but hard-to-monetize site. iVillage boasts a large and active community that continues to attract pageviews, despite mismanagement and near-bankruptcy after the site’s lucrative 1999 IPO. Started as an AOL Community Channel in the mid-’90s, the site has passed from owner to owner until being acquired by NBC in 2006, when the company launched a syndicated tie-in TV show, “iVillage Live,” in an effort to make the site more profitable. The show was axed early last year.

Now, NBC Universal has brought on former Reader’s Digest digital and Time for Kids exec Jodi Kahn to revamp iVillage yet again. Kahn describes the site as more kid- and family-friendly than its celeb gossip competish, focusing on features like “Celebrity Dads We’d Like to Adopt.”

“We’re soliciting women’s input and we’re showcasing what they care about by keeping track of pageviews and most-emailed stories,” Kahn said. “For example, one woman posted that ‘Twilight’ gave her a chance to talk about sex with her teenager.”

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