The Maven, a publicly traded firm focused on digital publishing, bought the rights to operate Sports Illustrated from Authentic Brands Group, according to regulatory filing. ABG is a licensing firm headed by Jamie Salter that last month bought the sports magazine from Meredith Corp. for $110 million.
Maven and ABG will develop new digital media channels with the Sports Illustrated brand and operate the existing print and digital editions of the magazine. ABG will pay Maven a share of revenues from certain Sports Illustrated business lines, such as commerce.
Levinsohn previously was interim CEO at Yahoo before its board named former Google executive Marissa Mayer as president and CEO. Levinsohn later ran the interactive group of Tribune Publishing, which prints the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News.
Maven, headed by digital entrepreneur Jim Heckman, has been scooping up smaller media properties to build scale.
Last week, the company boughtTheStreet, Jim Cramer’s financial news site, for $16.5 million. Previously, the Maven acquired HubPages and Say Media and merged them.
Levinsohn and Heckman partnered on sports-related media ventures in the past and worked together at Fox and Yahoo, where Heckman was senior vice president, Yahoo Sports.
Maven prepaid $45 million to ABG against future royalties as part of a 10-year licensing agreement with guaranteed yearly minimum royalty payments, the filing said. The companies are in discussions with Meredith about operating some parts of the business, such as print operations of Sports Illustrated.
Who owns the SI picture collection archive as a result of these transactions? They are a treasure.