TreeHugger Acquires Discovery Communications

Ok, ok. Not quite.

Close to four years ago, TreeHugger was founded with the goal of helping to push
sustainability into the mainstream. Today, as an award-winning Top 20 blog having served over 50 million pages, we like to believe that we've played a part in pushing green towards its tipping point. Today, we are proud to announce another big step toward that goal; Discovery Communications has acquired TreeHugger.

We suspected that at a certain point in TreeHugger's life that we would need to
attract significant investment or partner up with a large media organization if we
were to really take our message to the masses and fulfill our mission. Over the last year, we were approached by over 15 large companies interested in playing this role. We had many conversations and concluded that we needed a partner with a sizeable, international audience, a kindred brand and a high level commitment philosophically and financially to green.

Discovery fits these criteria to a T.

* They reach 1.5 billion (yes, billion!) cumulative subscribers around the world with top quality, often nature related non-fiction content

* They have commitment from the top of the company for over $50M to create content including programming for the world's first 24 hr green channel and in addition have allocated significant budget aimed at building the leading green web portfolio on the Internet

* They already have web properties serving hundreds of millions of pageviews per month

* They are looking to the TreeHugger team to help drive the direction of their green efforts online

We are honored that upon surveying the potential acquisition candidates or the option of building internally, Discovery elected to pursue making us a core element in their overall green strategy. We believe that this combination will allow TreeHugger to go much further and faster than it would have been able to alone or with another partner. If you believe what the world's scientists are saying, and I do, we have but a few years to make major changes in our relationship with nature. By teaming up with Discovery, we believe we can more effectively play a critical role in this mission.

We're bringing 2 premiere brands together, one with the largest broadcast, one with the largest online audience in this area. And then we're making the largest financial commitment towards green yet. Nice, no?

More after the jump...

What does this mean for TreeHugger and its readers?

TreeHugger will be able to push forward with strength by increased investment in the site, in its promotion and in its access to technologies, talent and content. TreeHugger will also be heavily involved in influencing the Planet Green websites that are being built out on Discovery. As a reader, you can expect TreeHugger to improve the quality and quantity of its offerings while maintaining the editorial integrity and attitude that you've enjoyed to date. You can also expect to see community tools that help you interact with each other and our writers as well as rate content. Discovery wants us to continue with the successful approach we've always taken, help us build a larger, deeper team, create new tools and help us reach a larger audience.

What does this mean for TreeHugger staff?

Little should change for the staff. Discovery acquired Treehugger because it values the brand, the site's high-quality content, its large group of dedicated readers
and its talented staff and contributors. The staff's general situation will improve due to the benefits that come from working for a larger, stable company versus a scrappy start-up, and we will also continue to hire for new positions. Both Graham Hill and Ken Rother will continue in their roles for a number of years at minimum and will be focused on pushing TreeHugger forward and building out new sites/initiatives under the Planet Green umbrella. Discovery should help broaden our staff's opportunities if they are interested and allow their work to reach a significantly larger audience.

I'd like to thank and congratulate all of the TreeHugger team as well as its readers and partners in helping us get to this point. This partnership is illustrative of us having created something truly great and we should all be proud of our contributions to it.

Environmentally, we're far from out of the woods yet, but it's my hope that significant dedication by companies like Discovery can help fuel the changes we need across business, politics and individuals. There's no silver bullet here, we need to confront this problem on all fronts and with speed. and media is a critical component in this

Onwards and upwards!

Graham Hill
ps Lots to come at Planet Green. Stay Tuned!