Rogers closing 8 websites including SweetSpot and Branchez-Vous

Rogers Media has announced the closure of eight websites under three of its major online banners. Set to close are Branchez-Vous.com along with its affiliated sites Ciné-Horaire.com, LeCinema.ca, Matin.qc.ca and Showbizz.net, as well as CanadianParents.com, SweetSpot.ca and SweetSpotQC.ca. Jason Tafler, chief digital officer for Rogers Media, announced the closures in an e-mail to Rogers employees Wednesday […]

Rogers Media has announced the closure of eight websites under three of its major online banners.

Set to close are Branchez-Vous.com along with its affiliated sites Ciné-Horaire.com, LeCinema.ca, Matin.qc.ca and Showbizz.net, as well as CanadianParents.com, SweetSpot.ca and SweetSpotQC.ca.

Jason Tafler, chief digital officer for Rogers Media, announced the closures in an e-mail to Rogers employees Wednesday afternoon.

“Decisions like this are never easy,” Tafler wrote. “Leading companies in any industry must take calculated risks and learn from their experiences in the marketplace.

“We acquired these websites over the past several years, and despite solid user and advertiser engagement, we are making the strategic decision to focus our resources on multiplatform integration and growth opportunities for our premium brands.”

Tafler was not available for further comment at press time.

These brands had been perceived as tent pole properties in Rogers’ digital network. Branchez-Vous.com (a news and technology site for French-speaking Quebecers) and its entertainment offshoots were part of the $25-million acquisition of BV Media in 2010.

According to materials provided to advertisers, Branchez-Vous averaged 435,000 unique visitors and 3.6 million pageviews per month.

The SweetSpot sites, national female-focused trend and lifestyle properties in which Rogers initially invested in 2006, were recording 145,000 unique visitors and 1.2 million pageviews per month, according to Rogers.

Rogers has recently made known its intention to focus on four key audiences in the coming years – sports fans, news consumers, entertainment fans and women. While it still owns large-scale, female-focused properties such as Chatelaine.com, Flare.com and the recently acquired HealthAndLifestyle.ca, the SweetSpot closures raises questions about what Rogers’ women’s media mix will look like going forward.

Media Articles

Canadians back broadcasters with Super Bowl rights (Survey)

Bell Media goes on the attack with public opinion poll and impending court battle

Bell goes to court to fight CRTC decision on U.S. Super Bowl ads

Media co. says banning simsub could cause "real harm" to Canada's broadcasting sector

Bloomberg to launch Canadian business TV channel

Channel helps feed Canadians' increased desire for financial news coverage

Upstart services elbowing aside traditional satellite and cable

Latest from MTM shows nearly half of Anglo-Canadians watching TV content online

Trader taps Co-Op Advertising for creative assignment

A new creative platform is rolling out this week

M2 lands Sky Zone trampoline assignment

Multi-media campaign debuts next week

CarPages.ca taps Mediative for online sales

Company now represents more than 18 publishers spanning over 40 websites

W Network launches online extensions

W Dish and W View intended to appeal to younger audiences

Oscar ratings tumble for CTV

Sunday's telecast attracts 5.2 million viewers, down from 6.12 million