Hachette Filipacchi aquires Digital Spy

Magazine publisher Hachette Filipacchi UK has acquired entertainment news website Digital Spy.

Digital Spy will be managed by Hachette with immediate effect, and will join Hachette’s digital portfolio which includes last year’s major launches, ELLEUK.com and Sugarscape.com.

Digital Spy was previously independently owned, launched in 2000 by a small team, including partners editorial director Neil Wilkes, and systems administrator James Welsh, who were joined in 2001 by partner and chairman Alan Jay.

The site covers a range of entertainment topics including showbiz and TV, and has a media section which covers TV broadcasting news with a focus on digital television and programming. It also has a Forum Network.

According to Comscore, Digital Spy was ranked the fourth largest entertainment news website in the UK in January, behind The Sun online, MNS Entertainment and BBC entertainment News, with 2.1 million unique users on the main entertainment news site and 3.1 million on the Forum Network.

Kevin Hand, chairman of Hachette Filipacchi UK (a subsidiary of Lagardère Active), said: ‘I am delighted to have acquired Digital Spy to further expand our growing digital division. Operating in the entertainment news area Digital Spy is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio of brands. This acquisition will offer considerable cross promotional and content sharing opportunities for our current sites and our international network as well as enhance our advertisers’ ability to reach a large, highly engaged audience.’

Alan Jay, chairman and partner of Digital Spy, said: ‘We are thrilled to be joining Hachette Filipacchi and see collaboration with brands as powerful as Elle or Sugar in the UK, as well as the international portfolio from the Lagardère group, as a huge opportunity for Digital Spy to maximise growth.”

Hachette are recruiting additional digital sales staff who will report to Rick Herman, Hachette’shHead of digital sales. The site’s management team, including editor Neil Wilkes, will all remain with the company.

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