Comedy site This Just In is out

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NEW YORK -- This Just In, a comedy Web site launched in February by Time Warner divisions AOL and HBO, will shut down at the end of August, according to sources.

With the goal of connecting advertisers to HBO for the first time in the channel's history through a site populated with topical humor blogs and videos, the site failed to find traction in the increasingly crowded world of online entertainment.

This Just In's founders also hoped that the site, which replaced AOL's comedy channel, would serve as an "incubator" for HBO by using the destination's content on the network as well as its On Demand and Mobile channels.

The shutdown follows the exit of Steve Stanford, who ran the site, who was let go from AOL a month ago, according to the sources. In the wake of chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht's recent departure, HBO also ushered out key digital execs who had oversight of the Web site, including Jim Moloshok, Carmi Zlotnik and John Penney.

On the AOL side, This Just In came under the oversight of AOL executive vp programming Bill Wilson, who manages the portal's entertainment properties.

AOL and HBO both declined comment.

The demise of This Just In reflects the competitive sphere of online comedy hubs, including offerings from the Onion, IAC/InterActive Corp. and even Time Warner's own SuperDeluxe, which operates out of the Turner Broadcasting division.
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