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Condé Nast Sells Brides Magazine to Barry Diller’s Dotdash

Brides, the oldest bridal magazine in the United States, started in 1934 as a publication mailed free of charge to women whose wedding announcements appeared in newspaper society pages, according to “One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding,” by Rebecca Mead. Its original title was So You’re Going to Be Married.

Condé Nast acquired the magazine’s former publisher, Brides House, shortly before Samuel I. Newhouse Sr. bought a controlling interest in the company in 1959. Then titled The Bride’s Magazine, the publication fit in snugly among Vogue, Glamour and House & Garden. The name of the magazine was eventually shortened to Bride’s, and the apostrophe fell off in 2005.

The magazine ran its first article on same-sex ceremonies in 2003. Three years later, it went online. In 2012, it became the first Condé Nast publication to be led by an African American, when Keija Minor was named editor in chief.

Under Ms. Minor, who stepped down in 2017, and her successor, Ms. Gooder, Brides expanded its digital presence. Brides.com had 3.6 million unique visitors in March, more than double the number in 2015, according to comScore.

The magazine’s new owner, Dotdash, was a repository of answers to online queries like “how to beer-batter chicken” in its previous incarnation, About.com. Started in the late 1990s, About.com was bought by The New York Times in 2005. It was sold to IAC, whose chairman is Barry Diller, in 2012.

Dotdash is now a collection of sites focused on topics like travel and home décor. When the company changed its name from About.com to Dotdash, Mr. Vogel, the chief executive, said he told IAC executives that he envisioned the brand as “what the future of Condé Nast should be.”

With Brides, Dotdash will compete against WeddingWire and The Knot, which have spent years doling out advice on floral arrangements and bachelorette parties (a.k.a. #bachbashes).

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