Over the past nine months, GNM has launched Guardian America, delivering news and commentary to U.S. audiences, and reached a new commercial relationship with Reuters to sell advertising stateside.
That GNM is effectively betting on a blog -- paidContent.org, the crown jewel of the ContentNext publishing network -- to further expand its U.S. presence clearly marks a new era for the platforms once considered trivial by traditional news media.
Rafat Ali, a one-time trade reporter who founded ContentNext in 2002, said the deal was unplanned.
"We were planning another round of funding and were not out shopping the company but when Guardian approached us, all the pegs fit into the right holes: a company that will help us scale, add to our existing portfolio of products, and most importantly, help keep 'Our Essence of Being' intact," Ali said in a letter posted online on Friday.
ContentNext -- funded by Greycroft Partners in 2006 -- will form part of the Guardian Professional group.
GNM, which publishes two storied UK newspapers, The Guardian and , along with the guardian.co.uk network of Websites, also owns Guardian Professional -- a B2B division, which, provides publications, events and conferences to professional audiences in the core sectors of media, education, and the public sector.
"The biggest consideration was working with a media company known for its journalistic integrity, its long-term view of businesses -- and its international outlook in editorial coverage as well as business," Ali said. "This starts the 2.0 phase of our company."
Based in Santa Monica, Calif. and New York City, ContentNext is an online media hub delivering trade news, information and analysis in the media, entertainment and technology sectors.
Along with paidContent, the ContentNext publishing network is comprised of mocoNews.net, covering the business of mobile content, paidContent:UK, focusing on the UK and Europe, and contentSutra.com, covering India's digital content market.
The company also runs an events business bringing together business decision-makers and thought-leaders.
ContentNext, according its CEO Nathan Richardson, "plans to be the leading digital publishing platform for news and information to the media, entertainment and publishing industries."
In May, Guardian.co.uk attracted 4,977,591 unique users from the U.S., according to the company.
Guardian News & Media Limited is a division of Guardian Media Group, which is owned by the Scott Trust.