Forbes Acquires True/Slant, Leans Social

by , May 25, 2010, 6:01 PM
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Forbes on Tuesday announced the acquisition of social-driven news site True/Slant. Effective June 1, True/Slant founder and CEO Lewis Dvorkin is expected to join Forbes to lead all editorial areas at Forbes as chief product officer.

"Forbes is stepping ahead of everyone on this one," Dvorkin said of the acquisition.

But, couldn't the media company's resources be described as antiquated? Hardly, Dvorkin insisted. "With all of Forbes' great experts, the wealth of Forbes data, and its real-time Web features, we have a unique ability to stimulate the social media conversation," he said. "Our journalists, producers, audiences, marketers and all variety of entrepreneurs will be engaged as they never have been before with one another."

From December 1996 to April 2000, Dvorkin served as executive editor of Forbes magazine. More recently, he started consulting for Forbes in April of this year.

In his new role, Dvorkin will be expected to create and implement new editorial initiatives, as well as re-imagine Forbes.com and the magazine itself. He will also assume responsibility for all editorial products across Forbes.

Since its founding last summer, True/Slant has relied on independent journalists -- known as "knowledge experts" -- who are assigned to specific topics, including politics, culture, sports, business, health, science and food.

Each contributor gets a dedicated page to feature their work with the goal of attracting a network of highly engaged followers. Pages also feature headlines from around the Web, which contributors select themselves.

Presently, True/Slant has more than 300 contributors whose work is divided into 18 topic areas, Dvorkin said in a open letter on Tuesday. Dvorkin also projects that "a record" 1.5 million unique users "will have visited our site," this month.

Going forward, "The small True/Slant team ... will now be working side-by-side with talented and dedicated journalists at Forbes Media," Dvorkin said.

For the last six months, meanwhile, True/Slant had been engaged in second-round fund-raising, according to Dvorkin. He also said Forbes Media was an original investor in True/Slant.

True/Slant is just the latest "new media" acquisition for Forbes, which has undergone painful transitions in the face of rapidly changing market demands.

Last November, one month after it was forced to cut 100 jobs -- from both the editorial and business side -- Forbes acquired FlipGloss Media.

Santa Monica, CA-based FlipGloss helps publishers -- including Variety and Scripps Networks -- and advertisers create and distribute interactive, magazine-style content packages, which are designed to increase user engagement and ad performance.

After leaving Forbes, Dvorkin joined AOL as senior vice president of programming, where he was responsible for news, sports and network programming. At AOL, he is also credited with helping to launch top gossip site TMZ.com.

During his career, Dvorkin has also served as Page One editor of The Wall Street Journal, a senior editor at Newsweek, and an editor at The New York Times.

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