When you are in the business of prophecy, what do you do when prophecy fails?
After a journey that began on the war-torn streets of Sierra Leone, the Dazed editor in chief is now one of fashion’s most influential stylists.
Last summer’s racial reckoning brought calls for an industrywide overhaul in fashion. But change is slow.
The fashion stylist talks about superficiality, Instagram résumés, celebrity and carrying on the infamous Warhol legacy.
What a busy week in the world of media liquidity.
That’s a sentence you don’t get to write often. Regardless, news broke this week that Axel Springer is buying U.S. political journalism outfit POLITICO. The transaction was expected, but the eye-popping roughly $1 billion price tag still has tongues wagging. We even got on the podcast to chat about it.
And Forbes announced that it is going public via a SPAC. The business publication’s news follows BuzzFeed’s journey to the public markets through a blank-check company. Hot media liquidity summer? Something like that.
The Exchange explores startups, markets and money.
That TechCrunch is in the process of being sold to private equity, of course, is not something that we should forget. Shoutout to the Verizon bankers who found a way to get rid of us while also deleveraging Verizon’s debt profile. Ten points.
I want to take a quick tour of the Forbes SPAC deck this morning. Our notes on BuzzFeed’s are here, in case you want to run comparisons. This will be easy and fun. Perfect Friday morning fare. Into the data!
What’s it worth?
In corporate-speak, Forbes Global Media Holdings is merging with blank-check company Magnum Opus Acquisition Limited. The transaction will close either Q4 2021 or Q1 2022, Forbes estimates.
The deal itself is somewhat modest in scale compared with other SPAC deals we’ve recently looked into. Forbes reports that it will sport “an implied pro forma enterprise value of $630 million, net of tax benefits,” after its completion. Some $600 million in gross proceeds will be derived from Magnum Opus funds “and $400 million of additional capital through a private placement of ordinary shares of the combined company,” Forbes writes.
The company will sport an equity valuation of $830 million after the deal closes, per its own calculations. That number will change some depending on redemptions ahead of the combination. The gap between the large dollars going into the deal and the modest final valuation of the public Forbes entity is due to some $440 million in secondary transactions for existing Forbes shareholders.
In case you’d prefer all of that in table form, here’s the Forbes investor deck:
Is $830 million a fair price? Let’s dig into Forbes’ results.
A leading publication covering Black life in America has emerged from bankruptcy with a new owner and ambitious plans.
He juxtaposed the mundane and the exotic, transforming ordinary objects into the desirable — an approach he took in his still-life images as well as in fashion.
What with the planet collapsing and democracy under constant attack from all quarters – you know, just the usual – one or two members of the global population have, idly or not, wondered if the private sector might want to step up? I mean, as well as shooting billionaires into space. At the same time, even! Luckily, many businesses want to do better. But there are one or two hurdles. Incorporating “purpose” into their digital offering, such as donating to a non-profit at the end of a moving documentary, is harder than it looks. Businesses don’t have the capacity to build in donation software; they can’t continually verify and audit good causes; and processing donations is fraught with legal complications, compliance, and regulatory risk. What is to be done?
Pennies is one organization that bills itself as the digital equivalent of the traditional charity collection box. However, perhaps what we need is… drum roll… an API?
Step forward Percent. Founded in 2017, Percent provides an API allowing firms to customers to donate to good causes, matching a donation made when making a payment, or rounding up a financial transaction, for instance.
It’s now closed a $5M venture round led by Morpheus Ventures, allowing it to expand in the US, as well as its existing presence in the UK and Australia. The UK’s Nationwide Building Society – also an early investor and customer of the product – is a co-investor in the round.
The company says its API-first platform takes care of auditing and compliance processes to prevent fraud and money-laundering whilst also parsing tax-efficient disbursements of funds into 200 countries worldwide. It says 7 million non-profit causes have been added to the platform and it’s vetted the potential recipients of donations.
Henry Ludlam, Founder, and CEO of Percent, said: “Percent was founded to become the global API-first infrastructure behind all giving. This will be the foundation for a better, fairer future of capitalism in which every financial transaction has social and environmental good built into it.”
In an interview I asked him if the pandemic had accelerated the opportunity: “Because of COVID, suddenly now we have brands that are really desperate to build purpose into their business in a way that they just weren’t doing 18 months ago. It’s really been an amazing shift. We’ve just seen a huge shift in what consumers expect from businesses. Consumers expect businesses to build purpose into what they do now.”
He said that the product could be even built into – surprise! – streaming services: “Say you’ve seen a documentary. And at the end of the documentary, you feel particularly moved, like you watched a David Attenborough or something like that. You could then actually be able to quickly and easily build donations into the end of it. So using our API, it would pull up a list of nonprofits, so right there and then the customer could make a donation. We’re also working with a crypto platform where you can round down your transactions and donate to any nonprofit as well. There’s loads of really cool stuff we are working on which is coming out soon.”
Kristian Blaszczynski, Managing Partner of Morpheus Ventures, said: “With the events of the last several years, it has become more apparent that aligning brands with purpose is driving consumer behavior and spend. However, today, the process of donating to non-profits is incredibly archaic, manual, and inefficient… Percent’s API-first platform abstracts away all of these complexities and automates the processes, allowing businesses to align closer to their stakeholders and focus on their core business.”
Percent could well be pushing at an open door. Kantar Research says that only 22% of people could name a brand they thought was doing a good job addressing issues such as climate change, plastic waste, and water pollution. On the flip side, 95% of businesses think that “purpose” is at the heart of what they do. The disparity could not be more stark.
Is Percent the stripe for donations? We’re about to find out.
He drew about 1,000 cartoons for The New Yorker, populated by clowns, snowmen, cats, dogs, Elvis and more. But his career with the magazine ended under a cloud.
Best known for his long tenure at Gourmet magazine, he brought a sense of elegant realism to his job and let his delectable subjects take center stage.
He edited the scholarly journal Daedalus for decades and wrote books on the presidency, sparing neither Kennedy nor Clinton nor the Bushes.
He also scored a major journalistic coup by securing the rights to the Zapruder film of John F. Kennedy’s assassination for Life magazine.
Condé Nast, the venerable magazine’s parent company, agreed to a minimum salary of $60,000 by April 2023, the union said. The deal also covers workers at the digital publications Ars Technica and Pitchfork.
The 96-year-old magazine, known for its revered writers and sophisticated audience, is being consumed by a labor dispute.
After more than two years of negotiations with the magazine’s parent company, Condé Nast, more than 100 demonstrators marched on the editorial director’s quiet block.
Four young photographers talk creativity, opportunity and race.
Great examples of photography and editorial design abound at the Jewish Museum. (Catch the catalog, too.)
She was a 51-year old former antiques dealer with no experience as a writer when she wrote to the editor of The World of Interiors magazine about a job. She was hired.
He deftly mocked pop culture, politics and more for 57 years. He also wrote new lyrics for familiar songs, which led to a lawsuit from Irving Berlin and others.
A new publication from a Vanity Fair veteran aims to attract writers with a revenue-sharing plan. The project has attracted backing from private equity firms.
The publication of the “Harper’s letter” attracted huge attention. Most people had stopped reading the magazine, which is stranger and better than you might expect.
Emily Stokes, previously a senior editor at The New Yorker, is succeeding Emily Nemens at the literary magazine.
Her lively monthly publication, often called “The New Yorker for kids,” paired stories by the likes of John Updike with drawings of bugs and birds.
Offensive posts that Alexi McCammond made in 2011 when she was a teenager were recirculated over the weekend on social media.
Offensive posts that Alexi McCammond made on Twitter in 2011 when she was a teenager were recirculated over the weekend on social media.
Tracking an industry where Black representation has been rare.
Ms. McCammond’s relationship with a former Biden press aide, T.J. Ducklo, recently made news after he threatened a reporter and was forced to resign.
The country’s culture of argument has come under the sway of a more ideological, more identity-focused model imported from the United States.
Monica Lewinsky. Janet Jackson. Lindsay Lohan. Whitney Houston. We are living in an era of reappraisals.
Monica Lewinsky. Janet Jackson. Lindsay Lohan. Whitney Houston. We are living in an era of reappraisals.
“Magazines and the American Experience,” at the Grolier Club in Manhattan, explores the rich, colorful and sometimes deeply strange history of American periodicals.
Conversations about the relentless focus on the pop star’s mental health, mothering and sexuality have begun anew following The New York Times documentary “Framing Britney Spears.”
As the publisher of a notorious sexually explicit magazine, he found himself at the nexus of a cultural and legal war and became an unlikely free-speech hero.
In an industrywide changing of the guard, other big newsroom jobs that have come open include the No. 1 slots at Vox, HuffPost and Wired.
Long at Newsweek, she was regarded as one of her generation’s pre-eminent science writers. An “Enlightenment-era figure,” Jon Meacham said.
Sassy magazine helped me get through my teens. Now I turn to my collection for a different kind of comfort.
We spent a year documenting our design process. Looking back, we realized we were telling a bigger story, too.
Vogue’s editor-in-chief gives an exclusive on the cover and discusses diversity at Condé Nast.
The vice president-elect is on the cover of the U.S. fashion magazine. Many people are not happy with the result.
Lindsay Peoples Wagner will leave her job as the editorial leader of the Condé Nast publication to take over New York Magazine’s style and culture site.
Showcasing the lavish homes of world leaders and celebrities, she and her magazine became powerful forces in interior design.
She wrote a celebrated college textbook, but, extending her reach beyond academia, she preferred exploring the unfolding art of the present.
The veteran editor gets more power and two new job titles — chief content officer and global editorial director of Vogue — as part of a broader shake-up.
As editor of the magazines Analog and Omni, he was a champion of a new generation of authors, including George R.R. Martin.
The second wave of the coronavirus has brought a new hardship for restaurants, which now confront a winter with no indoor dining.
The magazine chose the president-elect and the vice president-elect over frontline health care workers (along with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci), the racial justice movement and President Trump.
Editors of the Literary Review, which has given the award for almost 30 years, said the public had been “subjected to too many bad things this year to justify exposing it to bad sex as well.”
Nicholas Thompson is leaving Condé Nast for the top business job at the venerable publication owned by Laurene Powell Jobs’s Emerson Collective.
In the digital era, a carefully crafted persona has become more valuable than contest results.
Emily Ratajkowski accused the photographer Jonathan Leder of assault and using photos against her wishes. Other women say they have similar experiences.