Hearst acquires Kaboodle.com

Hearst Corp. has continued its recent Web-platform shopping spree with the purchase of Kaboodle Inc.

Santa Clara, CA-based Kaboodle is a shopping and social-networking site where users can browse products and share recommendations. The site has 250,000 registered users and hosts more than two million unique visitors each month.

Kaboodle founder/CEO Manish Chandra will remain in charge of operations at the site, but he will be reporting to Hearst Interactive Media and Hearst Magazines Digital Media.

Hearst has insisted that the shopping site will run as a separate entity from Hearst, free to explore partnerships with other media companies.

Hearst, the publisher of glossies Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan, will build pages on the Kaboodle site specifically to feature products from its magazines. Hearst execs have touted “synergy” between Kaboodle, Hearst magazines and Hearst-branded sites as a driving force behind the acquisition.

Hearst has been amassing a variety of sites lately, including its July purchase of UGO.com, a male-targeted site that focuses on games, movies, women and comic books. Hearst acquired eCrush.com, eSpin.com and HighSchoolStyleBoard earlier this year, all in a push to grow Hearst Interactive Media. The company currently holds around 50 Web site investments.

The sales team at Hearst will sell Kaboodle in packages with other media properties and as a standalone entity. The publisher plans to push the site to readers via special buying guides featured in its print titles.

Kaboodleáwill continue to generate fees through advertisements.

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