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Washington Post’s Christopher Schroeder Raising Money to Buy Media Firm

April 18, 2005

According to a mole, Christopher Schroeder, the V.P. of Strategy at The Washington Post Company and the former head of the Post’s various online properties, is teaming up with Polaris Ventures, Sequoia, and one other firm to buy Choice Media, a collection of web properties targeting the consumer healthcare audience. Our sources say Schroeder may have raised as much as $25 million to orchestrate the deal. We don’t yet know if the deal results in total ownership or only a majority stake, though we don’t think you do a deal like this unless you get to drive the bus.
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With the rise of search engine optimization and targeted online ads, we can see the appeal in buying a network of sites – and an audience. And even though the consumer online health market has been consistently over-hyped, we’re even willing to believe that a fresh approach to Choice Media’s properties could result in some nice upside for investors.
However, when we say “fresh approach,” we’re talking about a major overhaul. The content on the Choice Media sites is insultingly poor and the whole network feels like it has been rigged to generate intrusive advertising opportunities. Indeed, the company currently positions itself as “a leader in ehealth marketing and advertising services” – a transparent admission that Choice Media views itself simply as a marketing vehicle.
One site reviewer on Alexa sums up the challenges facing Chris Schroeder if he does take over Choice Media: “The content sections are so heavily filled with pharmaceutical ads that I can’t tell what’s editorial and what’s ads?? I like WebMD the best!”
Read: Christopher Schroeder Named Vice President-Strategy Of The Washington Post Company – [The Washington Post Company]

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