Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Analysis: AllThingsD At Crossroads - Founding Team Wants Buyout From Dow Jones"

A little who's who and what's what via Silicon Valley Watcher:
JP Mangalindan and Dan Primack at Fortune have produced an excellent article on tech gadget and news site AllThingsD and the discussions between owner Dow Jones and the founding team of Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.

Here are the main points: AllThingsD nears split with Dow Jones - Fortune

- Dow Jones owns AllThingsD but the contract with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher will expire at the end of this year. The two co-executive editors are trying to gain ownership of the property.
AllThingsD is working with investment bank Code Advisors to find outside investors at an enterprise value that could exceed the $25 million that AOL (AOL) reportedly paid in 2010 for rival site TechCrunch. One source says that the asking price is between $10 million and $15 million for a 25% or 30% stake in the company.
- They don't want VC money because of the conflict of interest afflicting other tech news sites such as Pando Daily, GigaOm, and VentureBeat. Their representatives have approached several large media companies but there could be conflicts of interest there, too.
Dow Jones officially owns the AllThingsD brand, website and content. It also manages the site's ad sales, but only Mossberg is an actual Dow Jones employee. Swisher and the rest of her AllThingsD editorial colleagues are contractors paid via an independent limited liability company.
One scenario could involve the AllThingsD team leaving to start an independent venture with a new name, while Dow Jones retains the AllthingsD brand.
Foremski's Take: Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher should have started out on their own ten years ago. However, large salaries of at least $500K for Walt Mossberg, proved too comfortable to leave. Kara Swisher and other staffers are paid competitive salaries by an independent company....MORE