Fox Buys BeliefNet

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Fox Entertainment Group announced today that it has inked a deal to acquire faith and spirituality Web site BeliefNet for an undisclosed amount. Under the acquisition, BeliefNet will become part of Fox Digital Media—the same branch of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation media empire that handles social networking site MySpace—and take on expanded roles supported Fox’s cable, television, and film brands.

“Beliefnet has garnered respect for its commitment to quality, editorial strength, and unbiased approach to faith and spirituality from a broad range of consumers, religious and political leaders, journalists and advertisers,” said Fox Digital Media president Dan Fawcett, in a statement. “FEG’s goal is to leverage these characteristics across a broader media canvas and provide programming, production, advertising sales, technology, and marketing expertise that will enhance an already terrific product in a rapidly growing market.”

BeliefNet provides Web-based social networking tools, spiritual commentary, devotional aids, and “insightful and compelling” editorial content. The site has received several awards for quality content, and is not associated with any particular religion or spiritual movement.

Mixing BeliefNet with the same parent company that spawned Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?” and other television and film projects that have drawn the ire of religious and morality groups may seem like an odd match, but both sides seem to think the move will strengthen both companies. “FEG’s vast resources will enable Beliefnet to expand our audience, enhance our offerings and more effectively carry out our mission to help people find and walk a spiritual path that brings comfort, hope, clarity, strength, and happiness,” said BeliefNet CEO, editor in chief, and co-founder Steven Waldman.

In addition to leveraging Fox’s technology and resources, BeliefNet will also latch into Fox’s interactive advertising platform.