A marriage made in consumer heaven

Consumerist editor Ben Popken had told me earlier this month that the would-be buyer pursuing his watchdog Web site was "a good name everyone will be happy with."

Well, in the world of consumer advocacy, names don't get any better than Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, which today will formally announce the purchase of Popken's popular Web operation from Gawker Media.

The New York Times reports:

It will become part of a new division of Consumers Union, and the current editors will remain. No plans are under way to change the coverage or to begin charging for the site. "We don't want to acquire the Consumerist and then squelch it in some way," said Kevin McKean, vice president and editorial director of Consumers Union.

Acquiring organizations almost always issue such reassurances, of course, so only time will tell if the Consumerist is able to maintain the edginess and combativeness that have earned it much respect among its readership. That Consumers Union would have resources and expertise to bring to the mission appears obvious.

All in all, it looks to be a happy ending ... a rarity in the media world these days.  

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