THE NEXT TECH INVESTMENT
Moguls in the tech industry purchase print publications
Although analog is making a comeback, many print publications are still struggling to maintain their foothold in the digital age. In fact, niche print magazines, whether launched by an unexpected brand or focusing on an interesting segment of counterculture, are the ones growing today. A new trend is arising in the legacy print arena: tech tycoons are purchasing long-standing publications to help keep them afloat.
Less than a year after Meredith Corp. completed its purchase of Time Inc., husband and wife duo and co-founders of Salesforce, Marc and Lynne Benioff, bought Time magazine. Meredith put Time, Money, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated up for sale in March, but Time is the first to sell, going to the Benioffs for $190 million. They consider it an ethical investment; Marc Benioff said, “We’re investing in a company with tremendous impact on the world, one that is also an incredibly strong business. That’s what we’re looking for when we invest as a family.” They will not have a role in the day-to-day operations of the magazine.
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong spent $500 million to purchase the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Dr. Soon-Shiong made billions in building and selling two biopharmaceutical companies, and along with adding two newspapers to his collection, he also has a 4.5% stake in the Lakers and has purchased six California hospitals in need of financial help. Soon-Shiong moved 800 of the L.A. Times employees from its headquarters in downtown LA to a building he previously purchased near the Los Angeles International Airport.
Last summer Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of the late Steve Jobs, purchased a majority stake in the Atlantic. Although the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, the publication was bought for $10 million by David Bradley in 1999; Bradley will remain a minority stakeholder and stay on as chairman for three years. Jobs deemed the Atlantic “one of the country's most important and enduring journalistic institutions,” and referenced the connection between her organization Emerson Collective and Ralph Waldo Emerson, Atlantic’s founder.