Radio One Acquires Networking Company for $38 Million

Radio One Inc. (ROIAK), the owner of stations serving black listeners, acquired the social networking company Community Connect Inc. for $38 million to expand on the Internet.

Community Connect Inc., which has about 100 employees, owns and operates social-networking brands including BlackPlanet.com, MiGente.com, and AsianAve.com, Lanham, Maryland-based Radio One said today in a statement.

The acquisition is part of Radio One's strategy to diversify beyond radio to reach black audiences. New York-based Community Connect has more than 20 million members, making it the fourth-most visited U.S. social networking property, Radio One said, citing January data from Hitwise.

``We will be the clear No. 1 in the African-American online space,'' Alfred Liggins, Radio One's chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Radio One has sold nine radio stations in the past year and owns or operates 53 outlets in 16 urban U.S. markets. It purchased Giant, a magazine targeting urban consumers, in 2006 and has an interest in the African-American targeted cable network, TV ONE.

Rothschild Inc. acted as financial adviser to Radio One while Bear Stearns Cos. advised Community Connect.

Radio One Class D rose 1 cent to $1.50 at $1.47 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading and has dropped 37 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter J. Brennan in Los Angeles at pbrennan3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colleen McElroy in New York at cmcelroy@bloomberg.net

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