What: Verizon Hearst Media Partners and Hearst have entered into an agreement to jointly acquire Complex (the “Company”) in a 50/50 ownership structure.
Why it matters: The deal follows Verizon and Hearst’s agreement in March to form Verizon Hearst Media Partners to develop new digital video channels as well as recent investments in AwesomenessTV.

J_kELH0x_400x400Verizon Hearst Media Partners, a joint venture between Verizon Communications and media conglomerate Hearst have entered into an agreement to jointly acquire Complex (the “Company”) in a 50/50 ownership structure. Rich Antoniello, Complex CEO & Co-Founder, will continue to lead the Company.

The Complex announcement comes on the heels of Verizon and Hearst’s recent investments in AwesomenessTV (each owns 24.5% with DreamWorks Animation owning the rest) and their agreement in March to form a 50/50 joint venture to build new multiplatform digital video channels targeting the mobile millennial audience.

The venture, Verizon Hearst Media Partners, is debuting two initial channels: RatedRed.com for millennials from the heartland who crave a brand of their own, and Seriously.TV, for viewers who want digital video comedic news updates throughout the day instead of waiting for late-night programming for their take on world events.In addition to the joint acquisition, Complex will develop premium video content for distribution across Verizon digital platforms, including go90, AOL.com and more.

Complex will develop premium video content for distribution across Verizon digital platforms

Founded by entrepreneur and Chief Brand Officer Marc Ecko in 2002, Complex is one of the fastest growing networks of sites focused on American popular culture—from entertainment news, sneakers and hip hop music to food, fashion, sports and technology––geared at the millennial male. The Company has seen a profit since 2010, excelling at providing advertisers with this targeted and attractive demographic.

“The decision to acquire Complex is certainly a continuation of our media strategy, which is focused on disruption that is occurring in digital media and content distribution, and involves building a portfolio of the emerging digital brands of the future for the millennial and Gen-Z audience,” said Brian Angiolet, Verizon’s senior vice president of consumer product and marketing. “When we look at Complex and how well they’ve built audiences by championing the digital convergence of cultures for well over a decade, it pairs well with our strategic vision and current shifts in content consumption.”

“Complex will turn up the volume on our growing portfolio with Verizon, complementing the audiences targeted with our other channel investments,” said Neeraj Khemlani, co-president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication. “

Over the last two years, Complex has adopted a video-first approach, reaching over 50 million unique monthly visitors and seeing consumption spike to 300 million monthly views––a 415% percent growth year over year.In transitioning from print to the video-first digital powerhouse it is today, Complex has become one of the top 10 publishers in the U.S. when it comes to social interaction and engagement on channels like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

LionTree Advisors acted as advisor to Complex on this transaction. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. The parties currently expect that the transaction will be completed within the next 60 days.



What: Media and Information company Hearst has invested US$21 million to acquire a minority stake in Complex, one of the fastest growing digital media networks.
Why it matters: Hearst, as other traditional media companiesincluding NBC (e.g. it recent purchase of stakes Vox Media and BuzzFeed)  continues to invest in fast growing digital media and streaming video companies and expand in the digital video arena.

J_kELH0x_400x400Hearst, one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies, has announced that it has invested US$21 million to acquire a minority stake in Complex, one of the fastest growing digital media networks.

The joint announcement was made by Hearst Entertainment & Syndication Co-President and Hearst Digital Studios President Neeraj Khemlani, Complex Founder and CEO Rich Antoniello and Complex Founder Marc Ecko.

095dfd2Khemlani (photo) will take a board seat at Complex.

Now reaching over 57 million diverse millennial males monthly across its destination and partner sites, Complex is  is now one of the top 10 publishers in the U.S. when it comes to social interaction and engagement on channels like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.Complex currently operates a network of sites in addition to its own destination site (Complex.com) that focus on niche cultures and report on trends in pop culture, entertainment, fashion, hip-hop music, art and design, food, technology, sports and video games.

“Hearst continues to invest in fast growing digital media and streaming video companies,” Khemlani said. “The Complex team drives explosive engagement through smart, hip content that features exclusives from some of the top music and popular culture stars of our time.”

“This is an important investment for us and one we view as a crucial strategic play. As we look towards further expansion in digital and linear entertainment, Complex will have access to the extensive expertise, scale and partnerships that only a global media company like Hearst could offer,” Antoniello said. “And with Hearst, we’re poised to become the publisher that influences culture and spurs conversation among an audience that’s as influential as it is broad.”

Since Ecko Unltd. designer and entrepreneur Marc Ecko launched the print publication in 2002, Complex has expanded its business in digital, video, branded activations and emerging platforms. The company has seen a profit since 2010, as it has also excelled in providing a targeted and attractive demographic for advertisers. Over the last two years, Complex has adopted a video-first approach, seeing audience spike to 192 million monthly views, a 415 percent growth year over year. Earlier in 2015, filmmaker Spike Lee joined Complex as Board Advisor, Branded Video Projects to develop formats that could bridge both digital and linear media.

According to Khemlani, the aim behind the deal is the same one that has led Hearst to take stakes in AwesomenessTV and, via its partial ownership in TV programmer A&E, in Vice Media: digital video.

The US$21 million is “predominantly” going into Complex as a direct investment, says CEO Rich Antoniello, though some of the money will go back out to early shareholders via secondary sales. Complex has raised US$52 million to date, including a US$25 million investment from Iconix Brand Group in 2013 that valued the company at $174 million.


A lot is going on this week says Susan Kuchinskas including ‘how Hearst Tech partnerships make ad sales — and ads themselves — snazzier’, an Adsmovil-Pubmatic deal for programmatic, Sabado Gigante bidding adieu and more…

chevy coloradoPrint and Video: Better Together

Hearst Media put together an eyeball-grabbing campaign for Chevrolet that planted an actual video screen into print issues of Esquire and Popular Mechanics. Using Americhip technology, 10,000 subscribers of each publication got special print editions in which a Chevy Colorado truck ad began playing when they turned to that page. Chevy used Hearst’s consumer data to identify the best recipients of this pricey campaign.

Don Francisco Says Adios

don franciscoMario Kreutzberger, host of Univision’s pioneering variety show Sábado Gigante, will soon hang up his act. After months of rumors that Kreutzberger, known as Don Francisco on the show, was ready to retire, Univision made an official announcement last week. According to Multichannel.com, the audience for the show, which premiered with Univision in 1968, frequently drops under 1 million. The Los Angeles Times noted that viewership among 18-to-35-year-olds, viewership plunged by 43 percent. And, with an increasingly fragmented Hispanic audience, the old-style, Spanish-language show was past-due for a refresh. According to the LA Times article, “When people think of Univision, they also think of ‘Sábado Gigante,’” said Lia Silkworth, managing director of Tapestry, part of advertising firm SMG Multicultural. Maybe that’s not such a good thing, as Univision prepares for an IPO. Sniffed Aura Bogado in The Guardian, “Latinos outgrew Sábado Gigante’s racism and misogyny long before it ended.”

SBS to Sell Radio Programmatically

The Spanish Broadcasting System signed on with WideOrbit to make its digital audio inventory available to demand-side platforms. WideOrbit‘s WO Programmatic is a fully automated, beta offering that let stations offer inventory through direct selling channels and ad network partners via its platform. The deal will include 13 of SBS’s owned and operated radio stations, including the top-rated US Spanish language station WSKQ-FM New York.

MiCasa and SimplyME Hook Up

MiCaasaMiCasa Network, the Hispennial-oriented entertainment provider, has joined with SimplyME Distribution in a joint venture that includes content, distribution and ad sales. SimplyME is a media distribution company that works with independent content creators, and it will distribute MiCasa content across its network of cable and satellite TV companies. MiCasa,in turn, will spread SimplyME’s content. Collectively, they plan to reach more than 200 million English-predominant Hispanic households, with a generous helping of Millennials.

Adsmovil Tech Deal Lets It Focus on Sales

Adsmovil will use PubMatic’s programmatic solution for mobile ads to premium Hispanic publishers in the United States and Latin America. Alberto Pardo, CEO of Adsmovil, said the deal will allow the tktk to focus on developing relationships with publishers and advertisers, while PubMatic does the heavy lifting on technology.

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What: Hearst Corporation is creating Hearst Health, a healthcare information services division that consolidates several Hearst owned Healthcare Information companies. They will now be provided a unified branding message.
Why it matters: Hearst is one of the largest private media companies and owns major newspaper and consumer magazine assets.  By investing in its Health Care Information Services unit, Hearst is betting in a sector that has higher growth rates than most consumer media assets.

hearst-corporation-logo2Hearst Corporation, whose holdings include Cosmopolitan magazine and an ESPN stake, is establishing a healthcare division called Hearst Health.

Hearst Health will be comprehend 5 healthcare-information companies, in addition to an innovation lab and venture fund thought to invest US $75 million in startups in the space first, and another round of US $75 million for the future.

Hearst already holds a majority stake in the division’s companies, but used to lack a unified brand until now. According to a press release published by the New York headquartered company, this presented a challenge when trying to explain Hearst’s healthcare initiatives to clients and employees.

Hearst Business Media touches more people than also Hearst owned ESPN or Cosmo.

The creation of this new division is Hearst’s latest step into healthcare-related business. Two months ago, the company bought 85% stake in Homecare Home-based, maker of software for hospices and in-home medical care providers. Healthcare information has become a chief revenue source for Hearst through its leading companies: FDB (First Databank), Zynx Health, MCG (formerly Milliman Care Guidelines), Homecare Homebase (85 percent stake, as previously announced) and Map of Medicine (internationally). Each year in the U.S., care guidance from Hearst Health reaches more than 75 percent of patients discharged from hospitals, 20 million patient home visits, more than 133 million insured individuals, 1.8 billion retail pharmacy prescriptions and 3.25 billion prescription claims.

Hearst Health provides services used by doctors and other healthcare practitioners who treat 76% of the patients discharged from hospitals. According to Richard Malloch, president and group head of Hearst Business Media, the division’s reach is more widespread than Hearst’s other holdings. “They touch more people than ESPN or Cosmo,” he added.

The announcement continues Hearst’s business media group growth, which includes not only Hearst Health but also the company’s 50% stake in Fitch Ratings. The company’s most profitable group is entertainment and syndication, which includes a 20% ownership in ESPN and a 50% ownership of A&E Networks. Business Media is its’ second.

What: Time Inc’s All You is publishing a  12-page custom magazine, called Celebraciones, which will focus on the holidays and will be bound into the December issue of AllYou Nestlé USA is the sponsor of the program — integrated across print, digital, mobile and social platforms.
Why it matters: An increasing number of major publishers are reaching out to Hispanic women in English by inserting publications in part of its general market run and adding select retail disribution. Hearst (Cosmopolitan for Latinas and in 2014 Woman’s Day Latinas), Conde Nast (Glam Belleza), and, now Time Inc’s All You reflect this trend.

Time Inc’s All You is publishing a  12-page custom magazine, named Celebraciones, which will focus on the holidays and will be bound into the December issue of AllYou, hitting newsstands on November 15th. Nestlé USA is the sponsor of the program — integrated across print, digital, mobile and social platforms — to support its El Mejor Nido (“The Best Nest”) communications platform: (http://www.elmejornido.com). The company will run coupons for La Lechera®, Stouffer’s®, Juicy Juice® and other brands in the custom magazine.  A companion website www.allyou.com/celebraciones will be live on Friday, November 15th, the day the magazine hits newsstands. The content will be on the site permanently and will be heavily promoted throughout the holidays.

Celebraciones Cover

Celebraciones will have a targeted circulation of 380,000 — a mix of Hispanic subscribers and newsstand buyers in key Hispanic markets. “We targeted consumers based on self-selected Hispanic consumers and other relevant variables such as geographic area,” an All You spokesperson tells Portada.  “The magazine will be sold in newsstand copies at Walmart stores in Arizona, Nevada and California and sent to select subscribers,” she adds. The fact that All You is sold primarily at Walmart was a strong part of Nestle’s decision to sponsor Celebraciones, according to Vanessa Rivera, manager for multicultural marketing communications at Nestle USA. Another major publisher, Hearst, also announced recently that it  plans to publish four issues of Woman’s Day for Latinas starting in 2014, distributing 445,000 copies to certain Woman’s Day subscribers and at select Walmart newsstands.

The magazine will be sold in newsstand copies at Walmart stores in Arizona, Nevada and California and sent to select subscribers.

Time Inc’s All You’s regular magazine has a monthly circulation 1.5 million and the allyou.com website has 1.7 million monthly unique visitors.

December All You Cover
December All You Cover

We drew upon the diversity of our editorial team to create the content. Latinas are well represented on our staff.  In addition, because All You has always been a pioneer in user-generated content, we reached out to Latina bloggers and our Reality Checker communities to help us ensure that we incorporated all of the critical cultural cues, All You Deputy Editor George Kimmerling , tells Portada. “In addition to tapping into its loyal blogger following, All You consulted Latina women who are part of its 50,000-strong Reality Checkers network, highly engaged readers with whom the brand communicates regularly.”


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