The newly expanded Vox Media will be positioned in a category of its own — home to the industry’s most relevant media brands, influential journalists and creators, innovative technology, and strategic advertising solutions as well as the fastest-growing studios business.
The combined portfolio of Curbed, The Cut, Eater, Grub Street, Intelligencer, New York Magazine, Polygon, Recode, SB Nation, The Strategist, The Verge, Vox, and Vulture will reach hundreds of millions of people in the most popular consumer categories.
Tuesday, September 24 (New York, NY): Vox Media and New York Media today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge, creating the leading independent media company. The merger will combine New York Media, the publisher of the influential, 51-year-old New York Magazine, as well as five thriving digital brands, with Vox Media, the decade-old company known for building modern media brands and the technology that enables them. Together, as Vox Media, the company will reach hundreds of millions of people and be home to the industry’s leading journalists and creators, building communities and serving audiences across websites, TV and streaming services, podcasts, live-event stages, social platforms, and print magazines. The new Vox Media will also boast multiple, diverse revenue streams including the most scaled premium brand advertising solutions, affiliate commerce shopping, digital and print subscriptions, conferences and events, and a leading TV and audio studio. The deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close later this fall.
Vox Media Chairman & CEO Jim Bankoff will remain at the helm of Vox Media, leading all aspects of the expanded company. Pam Wasserstein, currently CEO of New York Media, will take on the new role of President, Vox Media, to oversee strategic initiatives, including commerce and consumer businesses, and the current New York Media brands as a member of Vox Media’s executive team; she will also be named to the Vox Media board of directors.
“I have long admired what Pam and the New York Media team have built, especially their ability to shape conversations with some of the most relevant and ambitious work in digital, print, and events,” says Jim Bankoff, Chairman & CEO of Vox Media. “This combination puts Vox Media in an unparalleled position to lead the media industry forward by focusing on the highest-quality offerings, most robust business models, and strongest company culture.”
“We have drawn inspiration from Vox Media, watching their growth trajectory and success in developing premium editorial brands and leading the industry in areas like podcasting and entertainment. As I began talking with Jim about what the future might look like together, it quickly became apparent that our companies pair incredibly well. We share core values — above all, a commitment to journalistic excellence — and each bring complementary areas of expertise to the enterprise. In this partnership, I’m looking forward to creating a new kind of media company with him and our combined teams,” says Pam Wasserstein, CEO of New York Media.
Since New York’s founding in 1968, the magazine’s sophisticated, witty, passionate voice has found a readership far beyond its namesake city. Historically built on advertising, the company has diversified its business in recent years to include affiliate e-commerce with The Strategist (expanding into the U.K. in early October), a digital subscription product, as well as popular consumer events such as Vulture Festival. It also produces several podcasts, and stories from New York have been optioned for movies and TV, from Saturday Night Fever to the recent box-office hit Hustlers. New York Media will join Vox Media with six esteemed editorial properties — New York, Vulture, The Cut, Intelligencer, The Strategist, and Grub Street — that have earned 41 National Magazine Awards since 2006; a 2016 George Polk Award for “Cosby: The Women,” a powerful precursor to the #MeToo movement; and the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for criticism.
Vox Media, prior to this merger, included seven editorial networks — SB Nation, The Verge, Polygon, Eater, Curbed, Recode, and Vox — and diverse lines of business including the Concert publisher-led marketplace, the Vox Creative brand studio, the Chorus publishing platform, a conferences-and-events business known for the Code Conferences series, and the Vox Media Studios entertainment division. Vox Media Studios’ premium nonfiction programming includes 175 podcasts from the Vox Media Podcast Network, Vox’s Explained on Netflix, Eater’s No Passport Required on PBS, and a forthcoming slate of food programming announced in a multiyear deal with Hulu. Earlier this year, Vox Media acquired Epic, the nonfiction-storytelling powerhouse for Hollywood film studios and Fortune 500 brands, and Coral by Vox Media, a platform dedicated to building safer and more productive engagement for publishers. Over the past few years, Vox Media has been named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies in Media,” an Inc. “Company of the Year,” and one of the Washingtonian’s “Great Places to Work.” In 2019, the company earned a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign, which ranks the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ equality.
The editorial networks will remain distinct, with the New York brands led by Editor-in-Chief David Haskell and Vox Media brands led by Melissa Bell, Publisher of Vox Media. As industry-leading journalists and creative minds come together, we expect there to be exciting opportunities for collaboration.
This merger will bring together a sophisticated suite of products and platforms for modern marketers, across premium products in content, video, audio, events, commerce, print, lead generation, and display. The existing Vox Media properties will immediately benefit from New York Media prowess in commerce and subscription businesses, just as Vox Media will be able to leverage its proven record in TV and podcast development and monetization to the New York Media properties.
Vox Media will also accelerate the growth of Chorus, the best-in-class publishing platform for content creation and distribution, which will integrate the best of New York Media’s Clay platform, including commerce and subscription capabilities, into its software. Chorus customers can also benefit from monetization opportunities through the Concert marketplace, which reaches 200 million people each month and 99 percent of the millennial market. Since 2017, Concert has operated across all digital properties at Vox Media and New York Media, enabling marketers to reach premium audiences in an effective, safe, high-quality environment.
The company will have offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, and London.
LionTree Advisors is acting as financial adviser to New York Media, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is acting as its legal counsel. Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP, is acting as legal counsel to Vox Media.
Vox Media is the leading independent modern media company. Known for building the best media brands and the technology that enables them, Vox Media is committed to creating a better future for the industry — and getting the future of media right. Vox Media’s editorial networks include Vox, The Verge, SB Nation, Eater, Polygon, Recode, and Curbed. The company’s diverse storytelling and advertising businesses include the Concert publisher-led marketplace, the Vox Creative brand studio, the Chorus publishing platform, and the entertainment division Vox Media Studios, which includes the Vox Media Podcast Network and Epic.
New York Media obsessively chronicles the ideas, people, and cultural events that are forever reshaping our world. The company publishes beloved and influential brands, including the groundbreaking magazine New York, which appears biweekly in print, and is the home to five thriving verticals: Intelligencer, delivering national news and sharp commentary on politics, business, technology, and media; Vulture, the premier site for culture news, criticism, and service; The Cut, at the forefront of women’s digital media; Grub Street, the address of authoritative restaurant criticism and food news; and The Strategist, dedicated to shopping the internet smartly.
Read a note from Jim Bankoff and Pam Wasserstein here.