Apr 28, 2022 - Economy

Quartz sells to G/O Media

Quartz launch party, 2012. Photo: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Quartz

The business news site Quartz has sold to G/O Media, formerly Gizmodo Media Group, its CEO Zach Seward announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Quartz has exchanged hands multiple times in the past few years, including most recently being taken private via a management buyout. Seward said management "sought to raise money and remain on our own ... but it became the very best path for Quartz" and its employees.

Details: In the memo, Seward said G/O Media, which houses niche consumer websites including Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Kotaku, Lifehacker, The Root and more, "will help us reach a lot more people across its network and unlock new revenue streams that we couldn’t on our own."

  • He also said that the transaction will occur "without any reduction in jobs."
  • Seward will become editor in chief and general manager of Quartz. Katherine Bell, who previously served as editor in chief, will depart.

Catch up quick: Quartz sold to Uzabase, a Japanese business data and news firm, in 2018, after its inception at The Atlantic Media company, for an amount between $75 million and $110 million. In 2020, management bought the company back, with plans to reinvest in the outlet.

Between the lines: Gizmodo Media Group was acquired by Great Hill Partners, a private equity firm, in 2019, reportedly for less than $50 million.

  • The company rebranded as G/O Media and appointed digital media veteran Jim Spanfeller as CEO.
  • It has faced some bumps along the way, including a mass exodus of top editors after the sale.

The big picture: The digital media market has been plagued by layoffs and job cuts in recent years, as firms tried to rally from growth challenges, many of which came to a head at the start of the pandemic.

  • Seward joining a larger firm at this time "will provide more resources for our most strapped teams at Quartz and more opportunities for career growth across the new company."

What's next: Seward said there will be no layoffs connected to the sale, "nor planned once we integrate." He added that all current employees who join G/O Media will be eligible for deal bonuses from the proceeds of the sale, totaling more than $1 million.

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