V buys 25Stanley.com, giving it increased legitimacy

25Stanley, the sports website best known for spreading gossip about the Canadiens, has been bought by V Média, owners of V, MusiquePlus and Musimax, the latter announced today, followed by the former.

The purchase price was not disclosed. Founder Jean Trudel (JT Utah) will remain with the website, and promises “business as usual.”

25Stanley is a popular website, and its articles are a mix of regular sporting news, particularly about the Canadiens, the kinds of fun little clickbaity stories you’d find on BuzzFeed, Deadspin or BarDown, and TMZ-style gossip about sports personalities.

It’s the latter that has led to the website being dismissed with a sneer as an unreliable gossip site by more mainstream media, even though many stories have been broken there.

Mind you, going through recent posts, a lot of the off-ice gossip isn’t much more than reposting Instagram photos. Last month, it posted a “rumour” about Carey Price’s wife being pregnant. It got lots of traction online but the mainstream media didn’t tough it until it was reported by TSN’s John Lu on Twitter after a game four days later.

When Angela Price got mad that she’d been scooped on news about her own uterus, 25Stanley apologized.

Being acquired by V gives the site some professionals to work with on everything from PR to IT. It also fits in with V’s positioning as a media empire for Quebec’s youth. Expect crossovers in both directions as a result of this deal.

You have to wonder if this might result in the website softening its image, becoming less like the National Enquirer and more like People. Or if in some ways that’s already happened.

But 25Stanley can’t simply be dismissed as some nameless online rumour mill. It has a major media company behind it now, and will be taken more seriously as a result.

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