ITV expected to sell off Friends Reunited

ITV is considering selling Friends Reunited as the broadcaster looks to strip underperforming assets.

The media company is undergoing a company-wide efficiency review, with reports suggesting the social network – bought for £120m in 2005 – may be sold off as part of cost-cutting measures.

They suggest ITV is unhappy the site hasn’t fulfilled its early potential in terms of revenue and user numbers, with newer rivals such as Bebo and Facebook overtaking it in popularity.

ITV declined to comment ahead of the release of its annual results on 4 March. It’s thought the broadcaster will announce the formal sale of Friends Reunited then, as well as further redundancies to the 1,000 already announced.

Last year ITV claimed Friends Reunited had doubled its monthly unique users to 5.5m after switching from subscriptions to an ad-funded model (nma 28 August 2008).

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