New York Times Sells About.com to Barry Diller's IAC for $300M

The reference site was purchased by the Times Company in 2005 for $410 million

The New York Times Company has sold About.com to IAC/InterActiveCorp's Ask.com for $300 million in cash, the companies announced.

The reference site, which offers advice on everything from beauty and wellness to personal finance, was purchased by the Times in 2005 from  Primedia Inc.  for $410 million.

Its traffic has grown steadily, but the company has been hit hard by declining rates in online display advertising. During its most recent quarterly financial report, the Times took a $195 million write-down on About.com, citing a 8.7 percent drop in the site's revenue.

The sale comes as the newspaper giant is selling off assets and focusing on its core brand. This year, the Times has offloaded its stake in Boston Red Sox owner, Fenway Sports Group, and sold its regional newspaper group to Halifax Media Holdings.

IAC, the new media company built by old media veteran Barry Diller, said that About.com would complement a suite of properties that includes The Daily Beast, Newsweek and OKCupid.

"We are extremely excited to bring these two businesses together; About.com's content will differentiate and greatly increase the authority of Ask.com's offerings, while Ask's expertise in search technology and user experience will improve the discoverability of existing content on About.com," Greg Blatt, CEO of IAC, said in a statement.

Globally, nearly 100 million unique users visit About.com on a monthly basis, IAC said.