AOL Closing Music And Sport Sites In UK

AOL’s post-HuffPost content restructuring is coming to Europe. It is closing its main music and sports sites in the UK – AOL Music and FanHouse – paidContent has learned.

A number of staff are in consultation.

“This is about a rationalisation of sites in order to enable us to focus on our biggest brands, which are core to our strategy and take in women’s lifestyle (for example MyDaily, Parentdish, Lifestyle…), mens sites such as Autos and Asylum, Finance and, of course, the recently-launched HuffPost UK (something we are actively hiring further roles for at the moment),” AOL (NYSE: AOL) tells paidContent.

This is an extension of the strategy AOL announced recently to merge 53 of its content sites in to 20 in the States (36 of them coming under the Huffington Post banner).

AOL shut the U.S. FanHouse in January, instead outsourcing its sporting content to Sporting News as a replacement. It will shut the UK Fanhouse this coming September but has no plans to call in outsourced sport content.

In the States, AOL Music survived. It swallowed up AOL’s The Boombox, Noise Creep, Sessions, Shoutcast, Spinner, The Boot and Winamp sites. But it has much greater traction there than in the UK.

In place of AOL Music, AOL says it will redirect to sites across the overall network, including the Eleven section of its celebrity channel.

Under the tech vertical, AOL-owned TechCrunch Europe is considering whether to continue as a standalone site or go under

Spinner was localised for the UK in August 2009, 15 months after AOL said it would.

AOL tells paidContent there are no plans to close further sites and that this programme does not extent in to other European markets.