Discovery Invests $100 Million in Group Nine Media

by Paige Albiniak  |  10.13.2016

Discovery Communications Inc. is investing $100 million in a new digital media holding company, Group Nine Media. The new company will serve as an umbrella organization for four established firms: Thrillist Media Group, NowThis Media, The Dodo and Discovery’s own digital network Seeker as well as its SourceFed Studios.

Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer will serve as CEO of Group Nine once the deal closes toward the end of this year.

“Today marks the start of a strong new company with tremendous brands, reach and scale,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery Communications, in a statement. “The merger of these assets will bring together best-in-class management, led by Ben and his team, expertise in data analytics technology and global reach to create one of the world’s largest digital-first content companies attracting young passionate enthusiasts that advertisers want to reach.”

Discovery, with its 35 percent stake, joins other investors in the venture. Germany’s Axel Springer is Group Nine’s second-largest investor. All told, the companies that make up Group Nine will combine to generate 3.5 billion globally monthly video views. Once the deal is closed, Discovery can run advertising across all of these platforms, covering linear TV, digital and social content and live events. Discovery also will have the option to buy a controlling stake in Group Nine Media.

Three of the companies are backed by New York-based venture capitalist firm Lerer Hippeau Ventures, which is co-headed by former Huffington Post chairman Ken Lerer and former Huffington Post CEO Eric Hippeau. Lerer and Hippeau co-founded NowThis Media and sit on the boards and serve as investors in many technology start-ups.

Thrillist and soon-to-be Group Nine CEO Ben Lerer is Ken Lerer’s son. Hippeau’s daughter, Andrea, has is a senior associate at her father’s firm and has served as general manager of The Dodo, which was founded by Ken Lerer’s daughter Izzie.

READ MORE: Variety

[Image courtesy of Variety]

← Back

New from Daily Brief

‘Narcos’ Cast Describes Power of Filming Pablo Escobar’s Death in Real-Life Location
Netflix’s featurette explores an “intense and disturbing” season two.
SNL Celebrates Halloween
Reel featuring past silly, spooky sketches captures memorable moments from Vincent Price, Matt Foley, Drunk Uncle and more.
‘The Crown’ Featurette, Trailer Focus on Winston Churchill
Netflix explores John Lithgow’s role as the historical character, and his relationship with Queen Elizabeth in the upcoming series.
HOT SPOT: 'Vote for Phil'
Fighter Phil Davis makes some good arguments as to why you should support him in the Nov. 4 Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight title fight on Spike.
NYTVF: Lena Dunham, ‘GIRLS’ Team Reflects Back on Six Seasons of Creativity and Controversy
Lena Dunham and the producers of HBO’s ‘GIRLS’ give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the series following the wrap of the show’s sixth and final season.
Viacom Close to Naming Bob Bakish Interim CEO, According to Reports
Would replace short-term interim CEO Tom Dooley next month.
Oct 28
Creative Entrepreneurs
Nov 3
PromaxBDA UK Conference & Awards 2016
Nov 9
2016 Latin America Awards & Industry Symposium
Dec 13
NYC PromaxBDA Holiday Party 2016
Dec 15
LA PromaxBDA Holiday Party 2016
Mar 13, 2017
PromaxBDA Europe Conference 2017
Power Your Career Advertisement NAMLE Advertisement ProMaxBanner_300x250 Advertisement