The start-ups that were once the darlings of the industry are facing budget shortfalls and revenue declines as they struggle to survive in an over-saturated market where Google and Facebook lay claim to the vast majority of ad dollars.
Now, the bubble is bursting and many of these companies are looking to sell.
In the latest evidence of volatility, CNN has learned that IAC is entertaining potential buyers for The Daily Beast, the news and opinion site launched nearly a decade ago by former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown.
“IAC has made it known it’s a seller and various outlets are taking a look,” one source with knowledge of IAC’s sales pitch said. “They’re shopping to all interested parties.”
Other sources with knowledge of the talks said IAC was only entertaining offers initiated by outside parties, and that no formal sales effort was in place.
The sources did not disclose any other details, including how much IAC hopes to get for the Beast. An IAC spokesperson said “IAC does not comment on rumors or speculation.”
Minutes after this report was published, Daily Beast president Heather Dietrick emailed staff and said there was “no sales process going on for The Beast,” but that IAC often “fields inquiries from third parties looking to talk about purchases, sales, or investments.”
“In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if others come by and ask to take a peek because of the way we’ve been driving the conversation in news lately,” she wrote.