Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Tech-News Site Gizmodo Sold to European Media Firm Keleops, Which Says It Will Retain Entire Editorial Staff

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Gizmodo, the 22-year-old tech news site, is the latest asset sold by G/O Media, which has been steadily shedding media properties for more than a year.

Gizmodo’s new owner is Keleops, a European online tech-media company with offices in Switzerland and Paris, France, that was originally founded 10 years ago as a performance-marketing firm. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

According to G/O Media and Keleops CEO/founder Jean-Guillaume Kleis, all of Gizmodo’s staff members will be kept on board with the sale. For the time being, Gizmodo employees will remain based in New York City.

“Acquiring Gizmodo represents a strategic move for Keleops as we continue to strengthen our presence and leadership in the tech media industry,” Kleis said in a statement. “Gizmodo is an iconic technology news brand with strong recognition worldwide, and I am delighted to welcome such a high-quality and trusted brand into Keleops family.”

G/O Media, a private-equity backed firm formed in 2019, had acquired Gizmodo from Univision, along with other sites formerly housed under the Gizmodo Media Group (which Univision had acquired in a bankruptcy sale of Gawker Media’s assets).

After being approached recently by Keleops about buying Gizmodo, “G/O Media’s board of directors have decided to accept their offer for a variety of reasons which include Keleops’ agreement to keep Gizmodo’s entire staff intact and a sale valuation that represents a substantial premium from our original purchase price for the site,” G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller wrote in a note to company staffers Tuesday.

The Gizmodo sale continues G/O Media’s process of slimming down. In April, it sold The Onion to Jeff Lawson, co-founder and former CEO of Twilio and a longtime fan of the satire site. That came after it sold The AV Club, a spinoff of The Onion that covers pop culture, to Atlanta-based Paste Magazine. Paste acquired Jezebel last fall after G/O Media had shut down the site and laid off its staff. This March, G/O laid off the staff of Deadspin and sold the sports news and commentary site to Lineup Publishing, based in Malta, the island nation located in the Mediterranean Sea. In March 2023, G/O Media sold how-to site Lifehacker to Ziff Davis.

At this point, the remaining G/O Media brands are gaming site Kotaku; car culture site Jalopnik; Black news and culture site The Root; e-commerce site The Inventory; and business news site Quartz (which it acquired in 2022).

With the addition of Gizmodo, which claims to have 30 million monthly unique visitors, Keleops anticipates “effectively doubling its current audience size.” Gizmodo’s operations include io9, a blog that covers entertainment and pop culture. Founded in 2014, Keleops’ four other media brands are 01net, Journal du Geek, Presse Citron and iPhon.fr.

Spanfeller, in the note to G/O staffers, wrote, “For the past two decades Gizmodo has been a leader in covering technology and its related vertical subjects with a unique approach and voice that has established itself as a vital player in tech journalism. The site’s new owners are very excited to be getting a great brand with a talented group of journalists. I would like to personally thank everyone for their dedication and focus over the past few months. With the advertising marketplace showing signs of improvement, I am confident that these moves will better position G/O Media for success as the year progresses.”

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