Jewish Journal

Beliefnet gets a buyer

by Brad A. Greenberg

June 29, 2010 | 12:27 pm

You may have noticed the recent addition of a Beliefnet widget on the right side of this page. A similar one promoting The God Blog was added to Beliefnet’s Judaism home page last week. A few days later, News Corp. announced that it had sold Beliefnet, which is like the Huffington Post for religious content, to BN Media.

The terms were unspecified and the groups behind BN Media don’t seem to be getting any attention. News Corp. had been looking for a buyer, so the sale wasn’t much of a surprise. But what the future holds may be.

For now, here’s what we know, via the AP:

The buyer, BN Media, is an investment firm behind two organizations — Affinity4 and Cross Bridge — focused on nonprofits and charities.

The companies said the acquisition will build on existing relationships. Affinity4 sells telephone, Internet and other services and donates part of the proceeds to charities and ministries. Cross Bridge provides spirituality-based video and other kinds of programming.

The deal will help Beliefnet “continue its mission to be the leading provider of inspiration and faith-based online content,” Beth-Ann Eason, Beliefnet’s general manager, said in a statement.

Beliefnet lost its visionary founding editor in chief, Steven Waldman, last fall when he went to work for President Obama. Fortunately, they still have Michael Kress.

The big question, obviously, is how this sale will affect Beliefnet’s personality. The biggest concern should be that it is able to remain ecumenical in its approach.

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