Rafat: PaidContent Is Not For Sale*

UPDATE: Everyone and their brother is now insisting that PaidContent is not for sale.  Which isn’t to say that the Guardian wouldn’t sell it given the right opportunity.

EARLIER: Losing $162,000 per day, U.K. publisher Guardian News and Media is looking to might unload PaidContent, sources tell AOL’s DailyFinance.

Alan Meckler, CEO of WebMediaBrands — the parent company of MediaBistro — told Daily Finance that he’d be an interested buyer.

“We have $25 million in the bank and virtually no debt,” Meckler told DF. “So we’re looking for sites that media professionals read.”

Then again, Alan has a reputation for doing lots of window-shopping.

Says a source close to WebMediaBrands, “Every executive I meet who’s met Alan has said that a) he’s tried to buy their company and b) wanted to pay a pittance. Usually, they laugh about it.”

One “Guardian insider” tells Daily Finance the integration with PaidContent — which the Guardian acquired for ~$25 million in 2008 — has been “a disaster,” and that “nobody can work out why we needed [PaidContent] in the first place.”

At one point, PaidContent was going to re-brand itself as Inside.com and hired Wall Street Journal veteran Ernie Sander to lead the way. We don’t know what happened to that project.

We reached out to some folks we know at PaidContent, including the above pictured Rafat Ali, and haven’t heard back yet. We’ll update the post when we do.

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