AfterEllen, a leading online community geared toward LGBT women will announce Tuesday that it has been acquired by Evolve Media, leaving its parent company Viacom, which owns Logo, MTV, and The Backlot.
Evolve Media COO Mike Dodge told The Advocate last week that his company, which owns female-targeted site TotallyHer, pursued the purchase of AfterEllen because of that site's uniquely engaged audience (Dodge said he could not disclose the dollar amount of the deal). The acquisition will bring AfterEllen under the umbrella of TotallyHer, which is fueled by multiple sub-brands like Momtastic and The FashionSpot, and others focused on audiences that are passionate about particular subjects.
"I think what we love about AfterEllen is that it has this amazing highly engaged audience," Dodge said. "We also love that it's a go-to resource for that fun and feminist perspective on entertainment news."
Dodge says regular readers of the site will not experience too many immediate changes as far as form or functionality. He did say, however, Evolve Media was looking to grow the staff and expand AfterEllen's stable of writers.
"We've done so many of these acquisitions" that the transition should be smooth, Dodge said. "We want to make improvements, but we don't want to go in and just change everything. Over time, we'll make incremental improvements, and we'll get feedback from the community."
While the company will not officially make the announcement that it acquired AfterEllen until 10 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, Dodge told The Advocate that advertisers like Hilton Worldwide, and Toyota/Lexus are interested in advertising on the site after acquisition.
"AfterEllen gives our TotallyHer sales team the opportunity to sell marketing programs to endemic marketers focused on reaching and influencing the LGBT audience, as well working with advertisers that just generally want to reach passionate and engaged women,” he said.
EvolveMedia's sites bring in 95 million users per month, and staffs about 400 people in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Sydney, and smaller offices in Melbourne, and Chicago.
UPDATE: A statement from editor Karman Kregloe reads that Trish Bendix, will be taking over as the editor in chief of the site, and that she will step down after nine years of working on AfterEllen.
"Trish has been a tireless champion of the lesbian and bi characters and storylines that we love, and she’ll continue to advocate for all of us from her new (virtual) corner office," Kregloe wrote Tuesday morning. She also announced that longtime contributor Dana Piccoli will become a staff editor. "Dana has done fantastic work as recapper, vlogger and red carpet reporter since she joined us in 2012. Her enthusiasm, humor and perfect pitch will be a great new addition to the staff."