|SportsBlogs Inc. (2005–2011)|
Vox Media, Inc. is an American digital media company based in Washington, D.C. and New York City.The company was founded in 2005 as SportsBlogs Inc. by Jerome Armstrong, Tyler Bleszinski, and Markos Moulitsas, and was rebranded as Vox Media in 2011. The company operates additional offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, and London. In June 2010, the network featured over 300 sites with over 400 paid writers. As of May 2020, Comscore ranks Vox Media as the 29th-most popular media company among users from the United States.
Vox Media owns six editorial brands— The Verge , Vox , SB Nation , Eater , Polygon , and Curbed —as well as, formerly, Racked and Recode . Vox Media's brands are built on Concert, a publisher-led marketplace for advertising, and Chorus, its proprietary content management system.The company's lines of business include the publishing platform Chorus, Concert, Vox Creative, Vox Entertainment, Vox Media Studios, and the Vox Media Podcast Network.
Vox Media was founded in 2005 as SportsBlogs Inc., the parent company of the sports blog network SB Nation , by political strategist Jerome Armstrong, freelance writer Tyler Bleszinski, and Daily Kos creator Markos Moulitsas.The site was a spin-off and expansion of Bleszinski's Oakland Athletics-focused blog Athletics Nation, which sought to provide coverage of the team from a fan's perspective. The popularity of the site led to other sports blogs being incorporated.
In 2008, SB Nation hired former AOL executive Jim Bankoff as CEO to assist in its growth. He showed interest in SB Nation's goal of building a network of niche-oriented sports websites. As of February 2009, the SB Nation network contained 185 blogs, and in November 2010, ComScore estimated that the site had attracted 5.8 million unique visitors. The 208 percent increase in unique visitors over November 2009 made SB Nation the fastest-growing sports website the company tracked at the time.
In 2011, Bankoff hired a number of former writers from AOL's technology blog Engadget , including former editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky, to build a new technology-oriented website.They had originally left AOL following a series of conflicts between Topolsky and Michael Arrington, author of TechCrunch (which AOL had recently acquired), and the leak of an internal training document that outlined a content strategy for AOL's blogs that prioritized profitability. Bankoff felt that a technology-oriented website would complement SB Nation due to their overlapping demographics. In November, the renamed Vox Media officially launched The Verge , with Topolsky as editor-in-chief.
In 2012, Vox Media launched a video gaming website, Polygon , led by former Joystiq editor Christopher Grant.In November 2013, Vox Media acquired Curbed Network, which consisted of the real-estate blog network Curbed , the food blog Eater , and the fashion blog Racked.
In April 2014, the company launched a news website, Vox . Led by former Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein, Melissa Bell and Matthew Yglesias, Vox was positioned as a general interest news service with a focus on providing additional context to recurring subjects within its articles.
In May 2015, Vox Media acquired Recode , a technology industry news website that was founded by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, the former editors of The Wall Street Journal 's All Things Digital .
In May 2017, Vox Media announced that it had entered into an agreement to provide technology and advertising sales for Bill Simmons' sports website The Ringer , as part of a revenue sharing agreement.
In February 2018, it was reported that Vox Media would be laying off around 50 employees, particularly surrounding video production. CEO Jim Bankoff stated previously that the company planned to exit native video for Facebook due to "unreliable monetization and promotion". The memo announcing the layoffs argued that despite its success, native video "won't be viable audience or revenue growth drivers for us relative to other investments we are making", and that the company wanted to focus more on podcasting and Vox Entertainment.The layoffs represented around 5% of Vox's workforce.
In April 2019, Vox Media acquired magazine Epic , which would become part of a new division called Vox Media Studios, which had also absorbed Vox Entertainment and the Vox Media Podcast Network.
In September 2019, Vox Media agreed to acquire and merge with New York Media, the parent company of New York magazine.
In response to the California Assembly Bill 5, which was passed in September 2019 and aimed at improving the working conditions for contract workers, Vox Media announced in December 2019 that it would terminate more than 200 contracts of California-based freelance writers for SB Nation, and replace these writers with 20 full-time staff writers.
On April 17, 2020, Vox Media announced it would furlough 9% of its workforce from May 1 to July 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In December 2014, Vox Media raised a US$46.5 million round led by the growth equity firm General Atlantic, estimating the media company's value at around $380 million. Participants in Vox Media's previous rounds include Accel Partners, Comcast Ventures, and Khosla Ventures. Other funders are Allen & Company, Providence Equity Partners, and various angel investors, including Ted Leonsis, Dan Rosensweig, Jeff Weiner, and Brent Jones. According to sources, the Series C in May 2012, valued Vox Media at $140 million. A Series D valued the company north of $200 million, raising an additional $40 million.
In August 2015, NBCUniversal made a $200 million equity investment in Vox Media, valuing the company at more than $1 billion. Comcast, which owns NBC, additionally already owned 14% of Vox through other subsidiaries.
In January 2018, Vox Media agreed to recognize a labor union, the Vox Media Union, being formed by its editorial staff with the Writers Guild of America, East.Under the Vox Media Union, more than 300 employees staged a walkout on June 6, 2019, over failed labor agreements between the union and Vox Media, leading to most Vox Media websites without operation.
The Vox Media Union negotiated with management during the widespread furloughs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. They "won a guarantee of no layoffs, no additional furloughs, and no additional pay cuts through July 31, along with enhanced severance for any layoffs that occur in August-December."
In September 2017, Vox Media was sued by Cheryl Bradley, a former manager of the "Mile High Hockey" site for SB Nation, which covered the Colorado Avalanche team. $125 stipend per month, wherefore Vox Media had failed to reach obligatory wage and hour protections. Fellow former site managers John Wakefield and Maija Varda were later added to the suit as plaintiffs, and Vox Media unsuccessfully tried to have the case dismissed. The suit was granted class action status by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in March 2019.The suit alleged that Bradley, despite being an employee of the company working 30–40 hours (and sometimes up to 50 hours) a week, was only paid a
A second labor suit was filed as a class action lawsuit in California in September 2018, citing the Fair Labor Standards Act. $6.3 million, Vox Media had the suit moved to the United States federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act.Because this lawsuit could have covered 258 plaintiffs and damages of up to
In several cases, plaintiffs represented by the attorney Richard Liebowitz sued Vox Media over copyright infringement claims.
Vox Media is made up of six media brands: The Verge (technology, culture, and science), Vox (general interest news), SB Nation (sports), Polygon (gaming), Eater (food and nightlife), and Curbed (real estate and home).It also owns Select All and The Strategist as well as New York Magazine and its affiliated websites, Daily Intelligencer (up-to-date news), the Cut (fashion and beauty), Grub Street (food and restaurants), and Vulture (pop culture).
SB Nation (originally known as Sports Blog Nation) is a sports blogging network, founded by Tyler Bleszinski and Markos Moulitsas in 2005. The blog from which the network formed was started by Bleszinski as Athletics Nation in 2003, and focused solely on the Oakland Athletics. 's CEO since 2009. The network expanded into radio programming in mid-2016 with SB Nation Radio, in partnership with Gow Media.It has since expanded to cover sports franchises on a national scale, including all Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League, and National Hockey League teams, as well as college and soccer teams, totaling over 300 community sites. In 2011, the network expanded into technology content with The Verge , leading to the parent company Sports Blogs Inc. being rebranded as Vox Media. Vox Media's chief executive, Jim Bankoff, has served as SB Nation
The Verge is a technology news site, which launched on November 1, 2011; it was originally staffed by former employees of Engadget , including former editor Joshua Topolsky and the new site's editor-in-chief Nilay Patel.While Topolsky and his team were developing the new site, a "placeholder" site called This Is My Next was created to allow them to continue writing articles and producing podcasts. Topolsky described the site as being an "evolved version of what we [had] been doing [at AOL]."
In February 2014, The Verge had 7.9 million unique visitors according to ComScore.
Vox was launched in April 2014; it is a news website that employs explanatory journalism. The site's editor-in-chief is Lauren Williams.
The video game website Polygon launched in 2012 as Vox Media's third property, and publishes news, culture, reviews, and videos.The site's founding staff included the editors-in-chief of the gaming sites Joystiq , Kotaku (Brian Crecente), and The Escapist . Staff published on The Verge as "Vox Games" beginning in February 2012, and launched as Polygon in October. The network features long-form journalism that focuses on the people making and playing the games rather than the games alone, and uses a "direct content sponsorship" model of online advertising. Christopher Grant serves as the current editor.
Curbed is a real-estate and home website that reaches beyond New York City to publish in 32 markets across the U.S. It was founded in 2004 as a side project by Lockhart Steele, managing editor of Gawker Media. Curbed became a Vox Media brand when the company acquired its parent company, Curbed Network, in November 2013 for $20–30 million in cash and stock. In addition to the national site, Curbed operates local sites for 14 U.S. cities. The editor-in-chief is Kelsey Keith.
Eater is a food and dining network of sites, offering reviews and news about the restaurant industry. The network was founded by Lockhart Steele and Ben Leventhal in 2005, and originally focused on dining and nightlife in New York City. Eater launched a national site in 2009,and covered nearly 20 cities by 2012. Vox Media acquired Eater, along with two others comprising the Curbed Network, in late 2013. In 2017, Eater had 25 local sites in the United States in Canada, and launched its first international site in London. The site has been recognized four times by the James Beard Foundation Awards. Eater is led by editor-in-chief Amanda Kludt.
Racked was a retail and shopping website which covered style. It was acquired by Vox Media when the company acquired Curbed Network in November 2013. million page views and 8 million unique visitors. In addition to the national site, Racked had local sites for Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, and San Francisco. The editor-in-chief was Britt Aboutaleb. Racked was folded into Vox in September 2018.In December 2014, the site had 11.2
Vox Media acquired technology news website Recode in May 2015.Recode hosts the annual invite-only Code Conference, at which editors of the site interview prominent figures of the technology industry. Recode was integrated into Vox in May 2019 under the name Recode by Vox.
Conceived in 2008, Chorus was built to be a "next-generation" publishing platform.Developed specifically for SB Nation, it facilitates content creation, and implemented commenting and forums, which allowed for company growth, later evolving to analyze viewership and distribute content via various multimedia platforms. In 2014, Ezra Klein and Melissa Bell left The Washington Post to join Vox Media, in part because of the publishing platform. Additionally, the founders of Curbed, Eater, and The Verge said Chorus was a key reason for partnering with Vox Media. In 2018, Vox Media began to license Chorus as a software as a service (SaaS) business to other publishers, including Funny or Die and The Ringer. The Chicago Sun-Times signed on as the first traditional newspaper to launch on the platform in October 2018.
In April 2016, Vox Media and NBCUniversal launched Concert as a "premium, brand-friendly ad network" to reach more than 150 million people across their digital properties.New York Media, PopSugar, Quartz and Rolling Stone joined the marketplace in May 2018. In May 2018, Comscore estimated the network reaches almost 90 percent of all internet users. With the new partners, Concert launched C-Suite to reach executives among brands such as CNBC, Recode, The Verge, and Vox.
Vox Creative is Vox Media's branded entertainment business.In October 2017, Vox Creative expanded to launch The Explainer Studio to bring the explainer format to brand partners. In 2016, Vox Creative's ad for "Applebee's Taste Test" won the Digiday Video Award for Best Video Ad.
In April 2019, Vox Media opened an operation unit known as Vox Media Studios. It is run by company president Marty Moe and serves as an umbrella for the Vox Entertainment, Vox Media Podcast, and simultaneously acquired Epic units.Vox Media Studios soon announced a new show, Retro Tech, hosted by Marques Brownlee on YouTube.
In March 2015, Vox Media formed a new division known as Vox Entertainment. The division was created to expand the company's presence in developing online video programming. 's "30 Execs to Watch" list.Vox Entertainment announced new shows in 2018, including American Style on CNN, Explained on Netflix, No Passport Required (hosted by chef Marcus Samuelsson) on PBS, and another named "Glad You Asked" series on YouTube. Vox Entertainment is helmed by Vox Media president Marty Moe. In 2016, vice president of Vox Entertainment, Chad Mumm, was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 and Variety
The Vox Media Podcast Network is Vox Media's non-fiction audio programming business and has a broad portfolio of audio programming across business, technology, news and policy, sports, and dining. 's "Recode Decode", hosted by Kara Swisher, and "Recode Media with Peter Kafka"; The Verge's "The Vergecast"; Vox's "The Weeds", "The Ezra Klein Show", , "Today, Explained", and "Impeachment, Explained."Shows include: Recode
In December 2019, Vox Media Vox Media announced a first-party marketing platform named Forte, in order to offer marketers access to Vox Media’s direct-to-consumer relationships.
In 2016, business magazine Inc. nominated Vox Media for "Company of the Year", citing that the company generated approximately $100 million in revenue in 2015, and was attracting 170 million unique users and 800 million content views monthly by 2016. Vox Media was named one of the world's "most innovative" media companies in 2017 by Fast Company for "doubling down on quality content while expanding". Vox Media was also named one of the "50 Great Places to Work" in Washington, D.C., by magazine Washingtonian . The company gained a rating of 95 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, which rates businesses on their treatment of LGBT personnel.
Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, often known by his username and former military nickname "Kos", is the founder and publisher of Daily Kos, a blog focusing on liberal and Democratic Party politics in the United States. He co-founded SB Nation, a collection of sports blogs, which is now a part of Vox Media.
Engadget is a multilingual technology blog network with daily coverage of gadgets and consumer electronics. Engadget operates a total of ten blogs—four written in English and six international versions with independent editorial staff. Engadget has ranked among the top five in the "Technorati top 100" and was noted in Time for being one of the best blogs of 2010. It has been operated by AOL since October 2005.
Walter S. Mossberg is an American journalist. He is widely credited with pioneering the modern, consumer-focused, technology review and commentary.
Tumblr is an American microblogging and social networking website founded by David Karp in 2007 and currently owned by Automattic. The service allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. Users can follow other users' blogs. Bloggers can also make their blogs private. For bloggers many of the website's features are accessed from a "dashboard" interface.
Curbed is an American real estate and urban design blog network founded by Lockhart Steele. As of 2019, there are area-specific editions for Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco, as well as formerly for Seattle, Washington, D.C, Philadelphia, New Orleans, the Hamptons and Miami. There is also a national site, founded in 2010, that Steele once described as "Architectural Digest after a three-martini lunch.” The site hosts an annual contest, the Curbed Cup, to pick the best neighborhood in each city. Nice Try!, a Curbed podcast about utopias, was produced in 2019.
Spotify is a Swedish music streaming and media services provider. It is operated by Spotify AB, which is publicly traded in the NYSE through Luxembourg-domiciled holding company Spotify Technology S.A., itself a constituent of the Russell 1000 Index. Spotify's main headquarters is in Stockholm, Sweden, and its corporate headquarters is in New York City, USA.
Joshua Ryan Topolsky is an American technology journalist. He is also a record producer, and DJ under the stage name Joshua Ryan. Topolsky was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of technology news network The Verge, and a co-creator of its parent company Vox Media. Previously, he was the editor-in-chief of Engadget.
The Verge is an American technology news website operated by Vox Media, publishing news, feature stories, guidebooks, product reviews, and podcasts.
Nilay Patel is an American editor and journalist best known for his work at technology news websites Engadget and The Verge. Patel had his first blogging gig at Gapers Block, a Chicago-centric blog. He was offered a full-time job at Engadget in 2008. After serving at Engadget, he left in 2011 and went on to work for The Verge. In 2014 he left The Verge to join sister site Vox, but later returned to The Verge to become its new editor-in-chief, replacing Joshua Topolsky.
James Philip Bankoff is an American businessman who serves as chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Vox Media, and its predecessor SB Nation. Prior to joining SB Nation/Vox in 2011, he worked for AOL.
SB Nation is a sports blogging network owned by Vox Media. It was co-founded by Tyler Bleszinski and Markos Moulitsas in 2005. The blog from which the network formed was started by Bleszinski as Athletics Nation in 2003, and focused solely on the Oakland Athletics. It has since expanded to cover sports franchises on a national scale, including all Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League, and National Hockey League teams, as well as college and soccer teams and professional wrestling, totaling over 300 community sites. In 2011, the network expanded into technology content with The Verge, leading to the parent company Sports Blogs Inc. being rebranded as Vox Media. SB Nation operates from Vox Media's offices in New York City and Washington, D.C.
Polygon is an American video game website that publishes news, culture, reviews, and videos. At its October 2012 launch as Vox Media's third property, Polygon sought to distinguish itself from competitors by focusing on the stories of the people behind the games instead of the games themselves. It also produced long-form magazine-style feature articles, invested in video content, and chose to let their review scores be updated as the game changed.
Facebook Messenger is an American messaging app and platform developed by Facebook, Inc. Originally developed as Facebook Chat in 2008, the company revamped its messaging service in 2010, and subsequently released standalone iOS and Android apps in August 2011 and standalone Facebook Portal hardware for Messenger-based calling in Q4 2018. Later on, Facebook has launched a dedicated website interface (Messenger.com), and separated the messaging functionality from the main Facebook app, allowing users to use the web interface or download one of the standalone apps. In April 2020, Facebook officially released Messenger for Desktop, which is supported on Windows 10 and macOS and distributed on Microsoft Store and App Store respectively.
Recode was a technology news website that focused on the business of Silicon Valley. Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher founded it in January 2014, after they left Dow Jones and the similar website they had previously co-founded, All Things Digital. Vox Media acquired Recode in May 2015, and in May 2019, Recode was integrated into Vox.
Vox is an American news and opinion website owned by Vox Media. The website was founded in April 2014 by Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, and Melissa Bell, and is noted for its concept of explanatory journalism. Vox's media presence also includes a YouTube channel, several podcasts, and a show presented on Netflix. Vox is generally considered to be left-of-center.
Google Photos is a photo sharing and storage service developed by Google. It was announced in May 2015 and separated from Google+, the company's former social network.
Martin Troen Moe is an American executive serving as president of Vox Media. Early in his career, he was an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and was an adviser to Lawrence Summers, United States Secretary of the Treasury. He later worked for AOL before joining SportsBlogs Inc., which later rebranded as Vox Media in 2011. He is credited as a co-founder of the technology news website The Verge. He served as the site's publisher, then as Vox Media's chief content officer, before being promoted to the role of president.
The Outline was an online publication focused on "power", "culture" and the "future" which was a subsidiary of Bustle. It was founded by Joshua Topolsky in 2016.
Melissa Bell is an American journalist and technologist. She helped launch the Indian business newspaper Mint, and held several positions at The Washington Post, starting in 2010. She and Ezra Klein left the newspaper to co-found the news and opinion website Vox with Matthew Yglesias in 2014. Bell was named vice president of growth and analytics for Vox Media in 2015, and has served as the company's publisher since 2016.
Eater is a food and dining network of sites and brand of Vox Media. The network was co-founded by Lockhart Steele and Ben Leventhal in 2005, and originally focused on dining and nightlife in New York City. Eater launched a national site in 2009, and covered nearly 20 cities by 2012. Vox Media acquired Eater, along with two others comprising the Curbed Network, in late 2013. In 2017, Eater had around 25 local sites in the United States, Canada, and England. The site has been recognized four times by the James Beard Foundation Awards.
The new partnership allows for a vertical on Concert called, "Concert C-Suite" to reach top executives and, as the companies claimed, the ability to reach 86 million unique monthly visitors among brands that include Recode, Vox, The Verge and CNBC.