Time Inc. Buys Zooey Deschanel’s HelloGiggles to Reach Young Women Online

Time Inc. has snapped up HelloGiggles, a women’s digital lifestyle publishing startup co-founded by actress Zooey Deschanel, representing the latest attempt by the traditional media company to build out digital-native businesses.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Time Inc. is paying “in the range” of $20 million for HelloGiggles, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The two companies have previously coupled on various deals, including a partnership between People and HelloGiggles on integrated-advertising packages earlier this year. The website, founded in 2011 by Deschanel, Sophia Rivka Rossi and Molly McAleer, reaches more than 17 million monthly unique visitors.

“With its passionate, highly engaged audience and quality editorial voice, HelloGiggles is a great fit for our entertainment portfolio, which includes People and Entertainment Weekly,” Time Inc. chairman and CEO Joe Ripp said in announcing the pact.

Deschanel added: “With Time Inc. as our partner, we’ll be able to expand the HelloGiggles mission and inspire and support even more young women with a safe and positive media platform.”

Rossi will remain in her CEO role and report to Rich Battista, executive VP of Time Inc. and president of People, Entertainment Weekly and People en Español. Deschanel will continue to serve as chief creative officer of HelloGiggles. The company will retain its name and remain based in Los Angeles.

Time Inc. spun off from Time Warner in 2014. The New York-based company operates some 60 websites, which attract 140 million visitors per month. Among its latest new ventures is Sports Illustrated Play, a business devoted to youth and amateur sports; in July, it acquired inVNT, a company that specializes in producing live events and media.

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