HBO, AOL Join Forces For New Humor Site

Time Warner companies AOL and HBO are teaming up to create a new video comedy site, This Just In, set for launch in the first quarter of next year. The site will replace AOL Comedy, the portal's current home for humor.

The new site will feature send-ups of news of the day--similar to "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"--as well as other content developed by HBO and AOL. The companies said they also plan to work with advertisers to integrate them into the content. "In addition to traditional ad units, the venture will work closely with advertisers to create programming that incorporates marketing messages in a way that is as engaging as the content itself," AOL and HBO said in a statement announcing the venture. Company representatives declined to comment on what shape such incorporation of marketing might take.

AOL is handling ad sales for the venture. A spokeswoman said the company was meeting with marketers this week at the Comedy Festival in Las Vegas to discuss ad opportunities.

HBO has tapped Steve Stanford, formerly CEO of Web comedy site Icebox.com, to run the project.

This initiative comes at a time when other media companies are investing in online comedy. This summer, News Corp.'s MySpace rolled out a new comedy section, while IAC/InterActive Corp. bought a majority stake in the parent company of comedy Web site College Humor.com.

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