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Conde Nast

The new upstart media company led by media veterans from Luminary, The New York Times and The Athletic is adding a fourth partner, a person familiar with the company's plans tell Axios.

Details: Condé Nast's Liz Gough will join as co-founder and chief operating officer of the company, managing its business operations, B2B marketing and advertising.

  • A source tell Axios that even though the company will be centered around subscriptions, it also plans to include advertising and other forms of revenue down the line.
  • The advertising component will be focused on fully-integrated brand partnerships with news products like newsletters, live audio, and events — not scaled banner ads.
  • The audience that the company aims to reach includes people with high household incomes and high levels of education — tastemakers that will presumably be attractive to big brands.

Gough was previously the SVP, and U.S. Commercial Lead at CNX, Condé Nast's creative agency. In her five years at Condé Nast, she was focused on selling brand partnerships to CMOs.

  • She joins co-founders Joe Purzycki, co-founder of the podcast company Luminary, Jon Kelly, a former New York Times editor and founder of Vanity Fair’s "The Hive," and longtime digital media executive and early Athletic employee Max Tcheyan.

The big picture: The idea behind the outlet is to build a newsroom that focuses more on creating communities around writers and their work.

  • Reporting from The New York Times suggests that the firm has raised "rely on an algorithm to gauge how many readers bought a subscription because of a specific writer."
  • Sources have confirmed this idea to Axios and add that writers’ bonuses depend on the number of subscribers they drive.

Flashback: Last month, the company closed a series A funding round from 40 North Media, a related investment business of Standard Industries, and private equity giant TPG Growth.

  • The new company — which has yet to finalize a name — has been toying with a few potential monickers, including Puck, which was previously reported by The Times.

The big picture: As tech firms like Google and Facebook become more dominant in advertising, smaller media companies that sell ads are leaning more heavily into custom experiences and integrations for brands.

  • The idea behind the advertising business with this new startup is that paying subscribers will be more appealing to advertisers, as they demonstrate a willingness to join community.

Go deeper: Media startup banks on charging for buzzy business news

Go deeper

Meredith sells local TV business to Gray for $2.7 billion

Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Meredith Corp. has agreed to sell its local media group for $2.7 billion in cash to Gray Television, opting to focus on its portfolio of national brands like People, Better Homes & Gardens, and Allrecipes.

Why it matters: Moving forward, Meredith will focus its business on two reporting segments: magazines and digital.

Why Verizon sold AOL and Yahoo for about 1% of their peak valuation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The upcoming sale of Yahoo and AOL to a private equity firm for $5 billion represents a massive media markdown.

By the numbers: At their dotcom bubble peaks, Yahoo and AOL were valued at more than $125 billion and $200 billion, respectively, or $193 billion and $318 billion in 2021 dollars.

Verizon sells Yahoo and AOL to private equity firm for $5 billion

Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Verizon on Monday announced that it will sell its digital media unit, including Yahoo and AOL, to private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

Details: Apollo will pay $5 billion for a 90% stake in the business, with Verizon retaining a 10% stake. It's a slightly higher price than what was expected, but still far short of the $9 billion that Verizon paid to acquire the businesses.