Penske Media has made a strategic investment in Vox Media, which owns New York Magazine and a swath of digital properties including The Cut, The Verge, Vulture, Recode, Eater, The Dodo and Thrillist.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but The New York Times reported the value of the investment was $100 million. The deal makes Penske Media Vox’s largest single shareholder; Penske chief executive officer Jay Penske will join the Vox Media board. But the two companies will continue to operate independently.
“I have long admired Vox Media’s world-class editorial teams and brands,” Penske said in a statement revealing the deal.
“We deeply respect the track record of both [Vox CEO] Jim Bankoff and the senior leadership team at Vox, and the company’s remarkable growth over the last decade. The Penske Media and Vox Media alliance will further cement both companies as leaders in modern media and take advantage of new opportunities at scale. Our two companies share a similar history of organic and acquisitive growth over time, and it made sense to invest for the future.”
Penske Media owns WWD, Variety, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone, Artforum and a slew of other trade and consumer publications. The Vox deal is the latest expansion for the company, which last month deepened its strategic alliance with Todd Boehly’s Eldridge Industries in acquiring Dick Clark Productions.
In his own statement, Bankoff added that the investment “will allow Vox Media to continue scaling its existing brands and operations, while providing resources for future acquisitions, and is another step forward in the ongoing ascent of Vox Media.”
Vox Media has been looking for ways to raise capital as economic headwinds continue to bear down on the media sector. Bankoff revealed in January that the company would cut 7 percent of its staff.
“Unfortunately, in this economic climate, we’re not able to sustain projects and areas of the business that have not performed as anticipated, are less core to where we see the biggest opportunities in the coming years, or where we don’t have enough rationale to support ongoing investment in what could be a prolonged downturn,” Bankoff wrote in an email to staff on Jan. 20.