Topix Sells Majority Stake to Newspaper Publishers (huh?)
Topix.net, the automated news aggregation site, just announced it is taking an investment from Gannett Co., Knight-Ridder Inc., and Tribune Co., each of which will own 25% of the company. This leaves the Topix founders with the remaining 25%.
This is a surprising decision by Topix, largely because of the stigma that newspaper companies so deservedly carry in the Internet space. Most Web publishers run the other way when it comes to dealing with deadwood hacks. In fact, Chris Tolles, VP of marketing for Topix even addressed the stigma in his comments to the NYT: “The newspaper business is looking out for its future and is more savvy than people give it credit for.”
Count us among the people who don’t give it credit. But as fans and early users of Topix, we hope this deal will only help to improve the service’s value and reach. However, we get queazy at the thought of Board meetings in which the Topix founders have to listen to the demands of three large (and competing) newspaper companies.
Read: Newspapers invest in Topix.net [marketwatch.com]