(your new Fanhouse editor-in-chief)

Nearly 3 1/2 years after Jamie Mottram’s exit, Fanhouse, AOL’s sports portal that at one time competed heavily to acquire big names from the print media world (well, Jay Mariotti, anyway), is essentially being sold off for scrap, as the following item from Adweek illustrates ;

AOL announced a partnership with Sporting News that will see AOL’s FanHouse.com become aol.sportingnews.com. Essentially starting on March 1, Sporting News will take over all editorial and ad sales operations for AOL’s sports property. Users who click on the sports link on the AOL.com home page will be redirected to the Sporting News Web site.

For Sporting News, the deal should provide the venerable brand with an immediate traffic boost, helping it compete better with giants like Yahoo Sports and ESPN.com.

Sportingnews.com currently reaches 2.9 million unique users, according to comScore, while FanHouse.com reaches nearly 10 million unique users.

“This is the last piece of the puzzle for us,”  said Jeff Price, Sporting News president and publisher. “Advertisers have told us that they love what we’ve done with our site over the past year in terms of video and social media, but they wanted reach.”

This sort of consolidation of big brands is hardly new or unexpected, and you can be certain similar moves are afoot in the less rarefied air of independent sports blogs. At present, I’m considering a lucrative offer from uber douche sports agent/citizen journalist Darren Heitner to merge CSTB with a blog I’m assured is “edgy” and has exactly the kind of reach this property has long coveted.