http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/212637

TreeHugger Rakes in $10 million with Discovery Channel Buyout

Posted Aug 1, 2007 by David Silverberg
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Renowned green-friendly site TreeHugger.com said today it was bought by the Discovery Channel in a move that should strengthen an upcoming cable network. Is going green a gamble that will pay off?
Digital Journal — One of the most popular eco-lifestyle sites just got "discovered." Today, TreeHugger.com announced it was acquired by the Discovery Channel. The site will act as a companion to Discovery’s upcoming Planet Green cable network.
The buyout, estimated at $10 million by the New York Post, gives Discovery Communications a “greener” edge while also broadening TreeHugger to a wider audience. As TreeHugger founder Graham Hill explained on the site:We're bringing two premiere brands together, one with the largest broadcast, one with the largest online audience in this area. And then we're making the largest financial commitment towards green yet. Nice, no?According to TreeHugger, the site attracts two million unique visitors a month and has an impressive archive of 13,500 posts. Founded in 2004, the site is filled with articles relating to environment news or eco-friendly products, while also including a forum, a job board and a Digg-like site for user-submitted news.
TreeHugger’s reputation — and its many members — will also add value to Discovery’s initiatives. Eileen O’Neill, president of Planet Green, said in a statement: TreeHugger.com strengthens Discovery’s 20-year commitment to being the global leader in information and resources that empower consumers to make small changes that can have a big impact.TreeHugger will become the digital compliment to Planet Green, a network scheduled to launch in early 2008. Discovery has already enlisted Leonardo DiCaprio to help produce the network’s signature series, "Eco-Town."
Discovery is no fool in bringing TreeHugger on to its team. Just like it did with Animal Planet and Petfinder.com in late 2006, Discovery is blending relevant digital giants with successful TV shows. This time around, Discovery wants to make sure its new network launches with a bang and not a whimper; Planet Green will need all the advertising it can get, and TreeHugger’s visitors will likely be turned on — and tuned in — to TV programming relating to living green.
The TreeHugger acquisition is also noteworthy for what it represents: mainstream TV networks turning to the Web for possible partnerships. Does that mean networks are trying to work with the Web’s big players rather than fight them? Hollywood, you better be listening.