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Recurrent Ventures Raised $300 Million. Where Did It Go?

Blackstone invested $300 million in Recurrent Ventures in 2022.


I spoke to Lance Johnson back in 2022, not long after Reccurrent Ventures had raised $300 million to finance the expansion of its publishig portfolio. Johnson’s no longer with Reccurrent, but back then he was CEO and we spoke about the group’s acquisition strategy, how they were different from the usual VC companies we encounter, and what you needed to do to get bought by Recurrent.

The investment was supposed to ‘supercharge’ the publisher’s commercial model, which relied on acquiring distressed publishers and upgrading their affiliate revenue operations. Instead, it has ‘derailed the strategy’ according to Adweek’s Mark Stenberg who spoke to former staff and exectives for this story.

Before the financing, Reccurrent acquired more than 24 editorial properties in just over three years. Since the investment, it has made only one acquisition—Dwell, in September 2022. “On the editorial side, we were initially excited about the investment,” one former staffer told Stenberg. “As time went on, it became clear that this was one private equity company being swallowed by another.”


Channel 4 plans to axe almost 250 jobs

Cut driven by decline in demand for advertising represents about 15% of broadcaster’s full-time workforce

“FFS!” was Mr Sutcliffe’s reaction to seeing this story and he’s not wrong. The staffing cuts, about 15% of the broadcaster’s full-time workforce, is said to be driven by a decline in demand for advertising. We know that’s definitely a thing, but this seems particularly cruel for staff who’ve only just come through a wildly ill-conceived (some might say vindictive) campaign by Boris Johnson’s incompetent government to privatise the state-owned station.


On The Record with Will Lewis

The Washington Post’s new CEO on his plans to fix “the most important news organization in America.”

Semafor’s Ben Smith has been speaking to veteran British media executive Sir Will Lewis, named as the new publisher and chief executive of The Washington Post in November last year. If you’re looking for good news, that advertising models of the past will be replaced by subscription models of the future, buckle up. “That subscription-based model is now waning,” Lewis told Smith, explaining that news publishers are going to have to get ready for ‘newsroom 3.0’.

Are you seeing traffic declines, and are they worrying, or is revenue from referrals still stable? One publisher theorises that the traffic they have now is more of a concentrated jus than a water soup. Join the discussion on our community forum.


X plans to create a content moderation ‘headquarters’ in Austin

CEO Linda Yaccarino is scheduled to testify before a Senate committee next week.

X says it will hire 100 full-time employees for a new trust and safety office, according to a report from Bloomberg. The team will focus on child sexual explotation and would be the platform’s first ‘proper’ trust and safety team since Elon Musk gutted the function shortly after buying Twitter. The announcement comes days before CEO Linda Yaccarino is scheduled to appear before a US government hearing looking at X’s handling of CSE moderation.

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Media Moments 2023

This year’s edition of Media Moments will be released in early December. To receive the report as soon as it goes live, please pre-register here.

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