Six Apart Selling LiveJournal

(AP) — Blogging pioneer Six Apart is breaking apart from LiveJournal, another trailblazer that helped bring online journals to the masses.

The nearly three-year marriage is dissolving with Six Apart's sale of LiveJournal to Russia-based SUP a deal expected to be announced Monday. The financial terms aren't being disclosed.

SUP, which already been running LiveJournal in Russia as part of a licensing agreement, plans to set up a new company in San Francisco to steer LiveJournal's global growth.

“We are very much a 'rest-of-the-world' company,” said Andrew Paulson, SUP's chief executive. “We believe there are high growth opportunities outside North America.”

Since SUP took over LiveJournal's licensing rights in Russia, the number of registered accounts in that country has nearly doubled to 1.35 million. About 523,000 Russian accounts are considered to be active bloggers, representing nearly a third of LiveJournal's roughly 1.7 million active users.

About nine Six Apart employees who worked on LiveJournal will move to the newly formed company. Six Apart will be left with about 150 workers worldwide.

Despite LiveJournal's robust growth in Russia during the past year, the United States remains its largest market.

But LiveJournal has been facing a stiffer challenge in the United States as more of its core audience