Washington-based BET.com has acquired 360HipHop.com, a Web site started by music mogul Russell Simmons, in a deal that BET officials hope will expand its audience as it tries to establish itself as the leading portal for African Americans.
"The voice of 360 is hip, it's edgy, urban, in your face. BET.com is African American middle class," said Scott Mills, the chief operating officer of BET.com, who will also oversee 360.
"The real value in that acquisition is Russell Simmons and his great reach into the rap and hip-hop arena," agreed Barry Cooper, chief executive of BlackVoices.com, a competitor of BET.com. "Web sites can be built overnight. Russell brings some intangibles that you just can't pick up on the store shelf."
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