Backchannel will become part of a newly formed group at Condé Nast, the Wired Media Group, which includes Wired and Ars Technica. Despite its addition to the Condé Nast family, Backchannel will continue its presence on Medium.
As part of the acquisition, Backchannel founder Steven Levy will return to Condé Nast, along with executive editor Sandra Upson. Tech business journalist Jessi Hempel will also transition to Backchannel from Wired.
The formation of such a group gives Condé Nast scale, thus helping it sell digital advertising. The publishing house has bundled other titles at the company, including the Food Innovation Group, which groups several of its food-centric titles.
“Backchannel is one of the most highly respected tech business brands and seamlessly complements Wired and Ars Technica to create the premiere group of leading editorial brands covering the technology sector,” said Fred Santarpia, chief digital officer of Condé Nast. “Backchannel’s unique and highly engaged audience of tech enthusiasts also creates new opportunities for our advertisers.”
Founded by Levy and Medium in 2014, Backchannel is a Silicon Valley-focused business and tech publication that examines the culture and stories of the tech industry.
“Backchannel’s trusted insight into the inner workings of Silicon Valley, coupled with Wired and Ars Technica’s signature editorial voices and storytelling expertise, will truly make Condé Nast the authority within the tech space for audiences and advertising partners alike,” said Kim Kelleher, publisher and chief revenue officer of the Wired Media Group.
In a note to staff, Backchannel founder Levy said of the move back to Condé Nast: “Personally, the move is kind of a homecoming: I was a founding writer at Wired, and previous to Backchannel, I spent six years there as senior staff writer. (If you cut me, I still might bleed neon.) But it won’t be like some Millennial returning to a parent’s house to live in the basement. We’ll be dedicated to building Backchannel into one of the company’s great titles. Also, we intend to make money. At Medium, Backchannel hosted a few experiments in sponsorships. Now it’s for real.”