E.W. Scripps Buys Newsy For $35 Million

by , Dec 9, 2013, 5:29 PM
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Unable to resist its intoxicating combination of mobile, video, and crowdsourcing features, E.W. Scripps Co. is buying mobile-focused video news network Newsy for $35 million in cash.

Per the acquisition, which is expected to close on January 1, Newsy will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of Scripps. Newsy’s 35 full-time employees, as well as its part-time employees, are all expected to keep their jobs.
 
Post-acquisition, the Newsy network isn’t going anywhere, according to Adam Symson, senior vice president and chief digital officer at Scripps.
 
“Newsy has the makings of an enduring brand, and we’re going to invest in that,” Symson said on Monday. “We’re not looking at [Newsy] as a tool to be absorbed by our core business.”
 
Going forward, however, Symson said he would not be surprised if certain Scripps properties were paired with certain Newsy services, but it was too soon to tell.
 
Founded in 2008, Newsy is currently producing thousands of videos per month for its own Web site and mobile apps, as well as those of publishing partners from MSN to About.com.

To meet publisher demand, the Columbia, Mo.-based startup sources a diverse assortment of experts from veterinarians to auto mechanics. With their help, the startup conducts the necessary interviews, shoots original footage and writes brief scripts to create its branded videos.

Newsy’s videos are now distributed through a number of sites and span distribution across mobile, the Web and in-home networks -- which generates more than 1 billion views annually, by the company’s own estimates.
 
As its traditional media business continues to struggle, E.W. Scripps is investing heavily on digital efforts. Just last month, the company’s Interactive unit debuted Uline -- an Internet video destination mixing full episodes and clips from shows such as Food Network, HGTV, and Travel Channel with a lineup of 70 original Web series.
 
Newsy’s revenue comes from advertising on its digital products, as well as selling news and original content to publishers. Additional publishing partners include AOL’s Huffington Post and Mashable.
 
Jim Spencer, founder and president of Newsy, gave Online Media Daily unprecedented access into its partnerships, earlier this year. “Newsy does a wide range of business models including rev share, license fee or a mix of the two,” Spencer said.
 
Discussing a particular deal with About.com, Spencer added: “We adapted to About’s model on a payment-per-video basis, ensuring About's high-quality video at scale and Newsy with reliable, recurring revenues.”  

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