Vox Media announced its acquisition of New York magazine along with its digital assets in an all-stock transaction in September 2019. A press release by New York Magazine revealed that Jim Bankoff, Vox Media CEO and chairman, will continue to lead all aspects of Vox Media. Pamela Wasserstein, chief executive of New York Media, will serve as president and have a seat on the company’s board of directors. According to Bankoff and Wasserstein, the deal is a logical step, which will not diminish the brands of either company.
New York Magazine, which was first published nearly fifty-one years ago, laid off at least five percent of its staff this year and has recorded a $10 million loss each year. Earlier in the year, the magazine also witnessed its editor-in-chief, Adam Moss, stepping down after fifteen years in the position. However, amidst such changes, Jim Bankoff has recorded that there would be no personnel changes within any of the magazine’s related publications or even within any of the Vox media brands, which include The Verge, Eater, Curbed, Vox and SB Nation. This statement has been surprisingly reassuring following the large-scale restructuring of New York Magazine, which laid off sixteen full-time staffers and sixteen freelancers or part-time employees.
Many experts say that this is a merger driven by shared ambition and that Vox’s growth trajectory and success in developing premium editorial brands is a driving force of this acquisition. The combination looks to diversify various forms of media and is supported by the nature of Vox Media, which was reshaped by Jim Bankoff. At present, Vox’s model relies less on digital advertising, yet boasts of a sizable profit on a revenue of $185 million, as reported last year. The company also recently negotiated a production deal with streaming service Hulu to create a series of TV shows. The deal was followed by another production agreement with Netflix. Vox’s revenue has been further enhanced by licensing its content management system, Chorus. Keeping in mind Vox’s recent successes, the rationale behind this merger has been firmly stated by Bankoff, who calls this combination in the digital media industry, most unique and different from all those mergers in the industry which have emerged out of desperation or for pure financial engineering.
Following the consummation of this transaction, Vox Media is expected to remain profitable and perhaps even increase its revenue by $300 million by the end of 2020. Vox Media has already raised more than $300 million, which includes $200 million from NBCUniversal. Further, according to the estimations of both Bankoff and Wasserstein, the combined sites would have at least 125 million unique monthly visitors. While the value of this transaction remains undisclosed, it is expected to close later this year.