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More than a month after it abruptly shuttered ComicsAlliance and AOL Music, AOL is expected to announce today that it has sold the comics blog and three music websites to Townsquare Media Group. The staffs will join the Connecticut-based media and digital-marketing company, which owns 243 radio stations and a growing number of websites, including ScreenCrush and PopCrush.
UPDATE (6 a.m.): And, just like that, ComicsAlliance has returned with new content, beginning with a comics explanation of the website’s history. (Original story continues below.)
The purchase by Townsquare reunites ComicsAlliance and the music sites with Bill Wilson, the company’s executive vice president and chief digital officer, who helped to develop the properties during his tenure as president of AOL Media.
“I wanted to make sure you saw that we were able to acquire some of the aol music assets (and Comics Alliance),” Wilson tweeted this morning. “Very excited!”
ROBOT 6 has confirmed rumors circulating this weekend at Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo that parent company AOL has shut down the comics news site ComicsAlliance. The move came Friday amid the abrupt closings of AOL Music and several music news and video sites.
Launched in its current form in August 2009 by Laura Hudson (AOL had briefly operated a lower-profile comics blog with that name), ComicsAlliance featured a mix of news, humor and commentary and a staff of contributors that most recently included the likes of Caleb Goellner, Chris Sims, Andy Khouri and David Brothers. Hudson left the site in June 2012, to be replaced as editor-in-chief by former Vertigo editor Joe Hughes.
A three-time Eisner Award nominee, ComicsAlliance posted no new content over the weekend, even as C2E2 and Stumptown Comics Fest were unfolding, leading early credence to rumors that it had been closed. This morning, the site published only a link round-up that had been written Friday; the weekly “War Rocket Ajax” podcast, which typically appears on Mondays at ComicsAlliance, was instead posted at Sims’ personal website.
(Kiel Phegley contributed to this report)