Tag: the atlantic

Gimlet Media Raises $15 Million, Showing There is Money in Podcasts

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Laurene Powell Job’s Emerson Collective is back in the news. Two days after acquiring a majority stake in The Atlantic, the non-profit has participated in a funding round for Gimlet Media, a podcasting company. The $15 million round was led by the investment firm Stripes Group. Some of Gimlet’s shows include “StartUp,” about the funding of Gimlet, “Homecoming,” the company’s first fiction podcast, and my personal favorite “The Pitch,” a Shark Tank-esque investing podcast.

Emerson Collective and Graham Holdings, owners of rival podcast network Panoply, also joined in the round. “This investment is a gratifying validation that we are at the beginning of the second golden age of audio,” said Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber, Gimlet Media’s co-founders.

There isn’t much money in podcasting, but Gimlet makes up roughly $15 million of an estimated $118 million industry. A PwC study, funded by Gimlet and other podcasting companies, estimates this number will jump 85% to $220 million this year.

Gimlet is looking at other ways to expand revenues as well. Gimlet’s very first podcast, “StartUp” is being turned into a single-camera sitcom on ABC called “Alex, Inc.” starring Zach Braff. “Homecoming,” about a secret government agency whose staff desperately wants to rejoin civilian life, has been given a two season order by Amazon Studios.

Emerson Collective Acquires The Atlantic

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Emerson Collective, the charitable organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, has announced a majority acquisition of The Atlantic. David G. Bradley, the current chairman and owner has said he’ll remain at the company for at least 3-5 years. Bradley will own a minority stake, which will most likely be assumed  by Emerson Collective when he retires.

“Against the odds, The Atlantic is prospering,” Bradley wrote in his memo. “While I will stay at the helm some years, the most consequential decision of my career now is behind me: Who next will take stewardship of this 160-year-old national treasure? To me, the answer, in the form of Laurene, feels incomparably right.”

The magazine, founded 4 years before the civil war, was picked up in 1999 by Bradley for only $10 million. Since then, the politics and arts rag has transformed into a powerful digital media company, now owning millennial-focused publications such as Quartz. However, Quartz and Atlantic Media’s other brands will remain solely owned by Bradley.

After realizing his sons weren’t interested in owning The Atlantic, Bradley compiled a list of over 600 potential suitors, but only ever reached out to Jobs. Laurene, the wife of the late apple founder Steve Jobs, founded the Emerson Collective to promote immigration and education reform. The organization aims to “bring about equality for all people; to illuminate and defend the American idea; to celebrate American culture and literature; and to cover our marvelous, and sometimes messy, democratic experiment.”

Because of this change in ownership and the challenges being faced by print media, Bradley finished his internal memo saying “What I loved about Laurene from the first is that her confidence was forged on a different coast. And, if anything, her ambition is greater than my own. Let’s make it our work to prove the wisdom of our era wrong. And when my time comes to leave, that would be a happy note on which to say ‘good-bye.’”