06 August 2007

Blogging & Media: Discovery Hugs TreeHugger

Discovery Communications acquired TreeHugger.com last week in an attempt to build its green new media offerings on the cusp of launching its Planet Green channel.

Discovery paid an estimated US$10M for the site, which "claims 1.4 million unique visitors a month and more than 50 writers around the world blogging about green news and products," according to the Washington Post.

TreeHugger is Discovery's first acquisition under chief executive David Zaslav, who began in January and is shifting resources into new-media products as part of "a housecleaning and reorganization that will end up cutting at least 25 percent of the company's workforce and closing the Discovery stores."

Nick Aster, one of the founders of TreeHugger, who now produces the Triple Pundit blog, wrote that the acquisition helps TreeHugger meet its goal of becoming "a real media presence and actually play a real role in 'mainstreaming' the basic principals of an ecologically conscious lifestyle."

Some of the principals, including Founder Graham Hill and COO Ken Rother, will continue to be involved. Certainly it will extend the reach of TreeHugger's audience (read more from Graham Hill.)

Personally, I've always found TreeHugger a bit cloying and precious, in spite or because of its award-winning design, my "booster alarm" sounds too often when reading its posts. (For more a more insightful critique of TreeHugger, see Bottleman's review.)

Still, it's a remarkable turn for the site, which started only three years ago. It certainly points to the growth in this space. What will this mean for green blogging and green lifestyle reporting? Only time will tell.

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