Independent publisher Anorak has begun its expansion plans with the acquisition and redesign of football website Who Ate All The Pies.

Anorak, which was founded by Paul Sorene, bought the site from Shiny Media, who closed the title in September last year citing problems with monetising the site.

Pies editor Ollie Irish has continued in his role and the site has now been redesigned from a 'linear old school blog design', Ashley Norris, formerly part of the management at Shiny Media, who joined Anorak in November last year, told Journalism.co.uk.

The site's profile and audience was a good fit with Anorak's plans to expand to a small network of men's lifestyle titles. Another launch is expected in the autumn, Norris added.

Despite Shiny's decision to close the site, Norris said he felt Pies had a strong brand and was buoyed by the fact that traffic to the site remained high even while shuttered.

"I always felt Pies was unique and I was gutted when Shiny stopped it. People have very fond memories of it - it was one of the most iconic British independent websites; it almost became the equivalent of 'When Saturday Comes'," said Norris.

"Shiny looked at it and it didn't really fit with what they were doing. It just needed to be galvanised. We're a much smaller operation."

Since picking up the site in April, page impressions have more than doubled and between them Anorak.co.uk and Pies are expected to record around 1 million unique users for July.

Blog may no longer be the right term to describe sites like Anorak.co.uk and Pies, added Norris.

"If we are a blog, then the Guardian newspaper online is a blog. It's more about independent new media now. A lot of what Pies and Anorak do is fairly similar to what mainstream media is doing, but with a bit more edge. The world seems to have changed," he said.

"These sites are really good blueprints for how people can do new media. The editors are really passionate, committed and produce lots of fantastic copy."

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