Laureen Ong, the former head of the National Geographic Channel, has made her first big move as head of the Scripps-owned Travel Channel. In a deal that will be announced today, Travel has invested $7.5 million in Oyster.com, a travel site that focuses on hotels, offering bookings and “professional” (as opposed to consumer) reviews.
Now that it owns a piece of Oyster, Ong tells the New York Times that the network will promote the site’s content and expertise on-air and online. It likely will feature the site’s hotel reviewers, too — “if we do shows around hotels, Oyster will have participation in it,” she commented. “It’s in our best interests to make sure they get a lot of exposure, and we will do all that we can.”[more]
The deal presents a major branding push for Oyster, which has been featured on Extra! but is getting a bigger platform with Travel Channel’s editorial cross-promotion — although don’t expect the network’s biggest star, Anthony Bourdain, to start touting anything beyond actual oysters.
More on the site’s philosophy: