Vox Media announced that NowThis, the social media-focused news division it picked up through the 2021 acquisition of Group Nine Media, will become an independent entity through a deal with the Accelerate Change media network.
Vox Media will retain a minority ownership stake in the newly independent NowThis and will continue to sell, produce and execute advertiser campaigns for NowThis. Washington, D.C.-based Accelerate Change will make a “substantial investment” in NowThis to support its continued growth and operations. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
According to Vox Media, NowThis will use the funding from Accelerate Change to expand its coverage and invest in staff and creator development. The 75-employee NowThis team will continued to be led by editor in chief Samara Mackereth and head of production and operations Jessica Borovay and “the staff in its entirety will join them in this transition,” according to Vox Media.
“NowThis is a powerhouse news publisher for young people on social platforms, and its reach and tremendous relevance has made it a destination for high-profile changemakers, cultural icons and brand partners since its inception,” Vox CEO Jim Bankoff said in a statement. “We’re excited about this model that allows Vox Media to continue to amplify NowThis as part of our portfolio with brand partners while setting NowThis up for continued success and rapid growth.”
Accelerate Change, which describes itself as a “nonprofit digital media lab, investor and incubator focused on news, culture and lifestyle properties,” operates independent media properties including ParentsTogether, PushBlack, Pulso, Noticias Para Inmigrantes and Impact.
Accelerate Change was founded in 2012 by Peter Murray, a co-founder of social-media analytics firm CrowdTangle. Murray, who serves as president of Accelerate Change, said in a statement, “Our investment reflects NowThis’ runaway growth and position as the leading social news brand for young people. NowThis is the number one news publisher on TikTok by a mile and has multiple top shows on Snapchat and continues to lead engagement across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.”
NowThis launched in 2012 and in 2016 became part of Group Nine Media, a media roll-up venture whose backers included Discovery Communications. In December 2021, Vox Media merged with Group Nine Media. That came after Vox Media in 2019 acquired New York Media, publisher of New York Magazine, in an all-stock deal designed to gain synergies of scale.
Under the pact to spin off NowThis, a senior representative from Vox Media will join NowThis’ newly created board of directors alongside Accelerate Change reps.
Penske Media Corp., whose properties include Variety, became Vox Media’s largest single shareholder earlier this year after PMC acquired a minority stake in the company. PMC invested $100 million in Vox Media for a 20% stake, per a New York Times report.
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