NBC swallows Oxygen

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Women--who needs 'em?

NBC Universal, that's who. The media conglomerate today announced that it has begun the acquisition of Oxygen Media, a cable network geared toward the fairer sex.

The deal will see NBCU forking over $925 million for the channel, which the company will use as a way to get into one of the most important demographics in the market.

In a statement, NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker said, "This acquisition increases our foothold in the advertiser-coveted young, upscale, female demographic and perfectly complements our current roster of cable channels and plays to our strength of running and operating cable networks."

Oxygen launched in early 2000 and was founded by Geraldine Laybourne, Oprah Winfrey, and Carsey-Werner production company members Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner, and Caryn Mandabach. Among the more popular shows on Oxygen are The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, The Bad Girls Club, Tori & Dean: Inn Love, and Campus Ladies.

The deal is expected to close in November, at which point Oxygen will be merged into NBC Universal Entertainment Cable's division. The network will join NBCU's other suite of cable channels, including USA Network, Sci-Fi Channel, and Bravo.

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