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Empire Media Group, Inc. (“EMG” or the “Company”), a dynamic privately owned global media conglomerate of brands and an innovator of content experiences across different platforms, announced today that it has acquired the rights to RadarOnline.com™, OKmagazine.com™, Yoga Mag-Book™, How It Works™, All About Space™, History of War™, All About History™, and the sports betting and handicapping platform Veri.Bet™.
Dylan Howard — an award-winning journalist, author, executive producer and media executive — will serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EMG. Mr. Howard will be reunited with Melissa Cronin, a long-time collaborator with Mr. Howard who served as Managing Editor of Content (Digital & Print) at a360 Media (formerly American Media, Inc).
Ms. Cronin has been appointed President and Chief Creative Officer, Mr. Howard announced.
Terms of each deal were not disclosed.
EMG’s acquisition of Radar Online™ restores control and management of the brand to Mr. Howard, who guided the website to record traffic and awards when he served as Executive Editor and later Editor in Chief. Ms. Cronin was also the first-ever female Editor in Chief of Radar.
Mr. Howard also announced the creation of three new digital brands: Front Page Detectives™, a website dedicated to true crime that features in-depth features, investigative journalism, and cold-case updates, The Royal Observer™, a trusted source for news on the royals, and Morning Honey™, a self-help and aspirational brand for the modern woman.
EMG will also give new life to Fact: Magazine™, formerly a quarterly publication that published between 1964 and 1967, in a soon-to-be-launched digital subscription-based service.
See more about each EMG brand below.
The acquisition and establishment of segment-specific brands makes EMG one of the leading new media companies in existence from the very moment of its inception. The portfolio affords for a broad network of talented and experienced journalists who will deliver unique content for national and international audiences. Additionally, the joining of these titles will provide diversified marketing and revenue solutions, and a fully integrated sales experience for clients, simplifying their experience and delivering a more holistic solution to advertising partners at scale.
Mr. Howard also announced:
– Paul Dousset, formerly of News Corporation, Cheddar TV, and Digital Trends, as Chief Innovation Officer.
– Jennifer Yousem, formerly of Complex, iHeartMedia and Mail Online, as Chief Financial Officer.
– Betsy Jones, former Associate Publisher of AVENUE, Senior Director Brand Partnerships at The Daily Front Row and Marketing Coordinator at Tiffany & Co., as Chief Marketing Officer.
– Bloomberg alum A.J. Carrasco, as Chief Operating Officer.
– Brian Campion, formerly of a360Media, as the Company’s Executive Creative Director.
– Aimee Marett, formerly of a360 Media, as Vice-President of Consumer Brands and Partnerships.
– Dominic Utton, formerly of The Sun and a360 Media, as Chief Writer & Development Officer.
EMG has partnered with the leading digital advertising platform Kargo Global, Inc. (“Kargo”) and its new division Fabrik to build world-class digital technology that leverages innovation to deliver lightning-fast web experiences through the elimination of the need for third-party trackers and plugins to EMG’s 40.8 million unique monthly users across its portfolio.
“This is a strategically aligned leadership team. With important stakeholders like Fabrik, we are committed to expanding and promoting digital media innovations and high-quality journalism for communities of dedicated and passionate followers with deep engagement in segment-specific topics,” said Mr. Howard. “We see this as a pivotal moment of transformation and revitalization in the media landscape as it converges with audio, e-commerce, long-form video and digital subscriptions and other technology opportunities.”
EMG has been operational since August 2020, and exited stealth mode on March 1, 2021. During that period, the Company’s Executive Team was able to build an audience that now reaches roughly one in every eight Americans.
“The collective knowledge and power of this team puts it in an enviable position day one,” said Mr. Howard. “The EMG team managed to develop a business plan, collaborate with our partners to create a state-of-the-art platform, and do it all — quietly — within such a short period time. This speaks to their passion, loyalty and commitment as a team.”
Importantly, Mr. Howard added the company is expected to announce a second round of acquisitions within the next few months to add to its holdings.
Furthermore, the Company is creating technology-based solutions with leading developers to solve problems for the creative digital community and content monetization space for publishers. These include apps and innovative SaaS products.
“This is a lively period of transformation for the media landscape,” added Ms. Cronin, the Company’s President and founding Partner. “EMG represents a bold new perspective on what we can achieve in this space by uniting technology and talent.
“I’m honored and thrilled to partner again with Dylan – whom I consider to be a media visionary for the 21st century. He has built a powerful array of incredible brands, onboarded inspiring partners, and hired a world-class team of executives and employees, many of whom have worked with us in past positions. Uniting these talented employees with innovative technology and a diverse brand portfolio will enable us to expand rapidly, acquire more valuable brands, and to reach hyper-specific audiences that offer advertisers an unparalleled marketing solution.”
Ms. Cronin also announced EMG has also formed a series of multimedia operations/labels under the EMG banner: a podcast division, titled Audology, a television and production company, Mystify Studios and a publisher, titled Harland & Wolff. EMG’s print division intends to release quarterly magazines, book-a-zines and special interest publications, and non-fiction books.
EMG has hired 40 staff since its inception. Editorial leadership includes:
– Ryan Naumann, formerly of TMZ and The Blast, as Editor in Chief of RadarOnline.com™.
– Jaclyn Roth, formerly of Us, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style, Closer Weekly, as Editor in Chief of The Royal Observer™ and Morning Honey™.
– Contributing Editors to The Royal Observer™ include Phil Dampier, formerly of The Sun, and Dickie Arbiter, who was the press spokesman for Queen Elizabeth II from 1998 to 2000.
– Merle Ginsberg, formerly Women’s Wear Daily, Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone, Seventeen, Maxim, The New York Times Magazine, Cosmopolitan and The Hollywood Reporter, as Contributing Editor of the Company.
– Michael Gioia, formerly of PEOPLE and Star, as Executive Editor of OKmagazine.com™.
– Alex Lang, formerly of McClatchy, as Editor in Chief of Front Page Detectives™.
The rest of the combined company’s editorial team, to be composed of highly experienced journalists and producers, will be announced at a later date.
EMG is based in Manhattan, New York — with staff in California, Australia, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
EMG retained Meister Seelig & Fein LLP as its transactional and financial advisors for all acquisitions and deals. Partners Mitchell Schuster, Judd H. Cohen, Katherine E. Lewis and Andrea B. Neuman served as counsel to the Company. John B. Harris, Caren Decter and Dionne Gordon of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC also served as strategic counsel.
OKmagazine.com™ is an iconic household name loved and trusted around the world. With exclusive offerings featuring trusted and aspirational content, OKmagazine.com™ provides users a unique look at the day-to-day lives of their favorite celebrities and trendsetters. This star-studded platform keeps the celebrity obsessed in the know about their favorite A-Listers, as well as the hottest trends in beauty, fitness, style and entertainment. It also aligns brands with ample advertising and partnership solutions to suit all budgets and to reach a high quality and responsive audiences. OKmagazine.com™ is the only global brand in the celebrity category.
Smart. Provocative. Irreverent. Fun. Honest. RadarOnline.com™ is the award-winning digital news website that was created in September 2003. It is your source for pop culture, politics, scandal, and style — and bound to make your smarter with a daily dose of “fresh intelligence.” RadarOnline.com™ reveals the secrets of the international star system, in a tantalizing and biting style. It digs into the hidden lives of celebrities from every sphere, revealing unexpected stories that focus on the personalities that users love, hate, and love to hate. A general-interest site, it is aimed at those 25 to 39. Unlike other sites in this category, RadarOnline.com™ prides itself on exclusivity. Instead of repeating the same old stories from every other platform, it offers fresh takes on news and gossip alongside fascinating deep-dive features. RadarOnline.com™ meets the pent-up demand for this type of content and represents an appealing outlet for advertisers. RadarOnline.com™ is separately owned by Radar Media Group LLC.
Front Page Detectives™ is a modern interpretation on the defunct crime magazine of the same name that published between 1924 and 1995. Front Page Detectives™ delivers users breaking latest crime news and updates from our exclusive team of reporters, investigators and experts, alongside deliver true crime sagas, trial recaps, breaking crime news, cold case updates, missing persons alerts, and more. FrontPageDetectives.com is a new take on true crime — arriving at a time when interest in the subject is at an all-time high, thanks to an explosion of crime documentaries on major television channels and popular podcasts.
The Royal Observer™ takes you behind the high walls, gilded gates and palace façades and into the very heart of the most famous families alive. The website and quarterly print edition explore history and tradition stretching back thousands of years. We celebrate all the pomp and ceremony that drive and define the public lives of royal families around the world, while also venturing behind closed doors into the shadowy areas of the royal palaces the public does not get to see. With the latest coverage of the entire royal families, exclusive news, photos and insider details of events, The Royal Observer™ takes users inside a rarefied world.
Fact: Magazine™ confronts that which is uncomfortable and controversial, but ultimately necessary to the user’s informed citizenship. Fact: Magazine™ is a provocative blend of satire and investigative journalism, exploring controversial issues across American politics, consumer advocacy and public policy.
Yoga Mag-Book™ is the number one yoga, health and fitness brand in the UK. Under license from Dennis Publishing Ltd., this chic, contemporary publication specializing in yoga, wellbeing and natural living will debut in the US in 2021. Each quarterly issue is packed with celebrity interviews, organic and natural beauty, fashion, travel, food and the best of yoga and fitness.
Morning Honey™ is a new digital destination for the modern grown-up woman. Informative, aspirational and fun, Morning Honey™ inspires its audience in all areas of her life. It’s about everything you need to make your day fun, interesting, healthy and uplifting. Whatever your interests, you’ll find them here. Food. Morning Honey™ has got it. Fashion? Morning Honey™ has got it. Celebrities? Morning Honey™ has got it. Travel, food, health, advice about everything from relationships to pets to the planets and stars—you’ll find all of that, and much more, on Morning Honey™.
Veri.Bet™ is the winning-edge platform that gives sports fans the news, tools and analysis to make the play. With Veri.Bet™ and its patent pending technology, fans can quickly and easily buy and sell winning sports picks using our game simulator, or via the most trusted platform populated with experienced and reliable sports handicappers. Veri.Bet™, at a basic level, is free and accessible for all, regardless of whether you bet on sports or not.
How It Works™ is the action-packed science and technology magazine bursting with exciting information about the world around us. Under license from Future PLC., it inspires by everything from the planet’s most bizarre creatures and unusual phenomena to the incredible technologies advancing and enhancing our lives. How It Works™ is under license from Future PLC.
All About Space™ takes you on an awe-inspiring journey through our Solar System and beyond, from the amazing technology and spacecraft that enables humanity to venture into orbit, to the complexities of space science. Under license from Future PLC., users will find out what NASA is building next, keep up to date with the latest discoveries and join a passionate community dedicated to hunting for life elsewhere in the universe. All About Space™ also features a regular stargazing section, helping users get started in the absorbing world of amateur astronomy with how-to guides, kit reviews and advice. All About Space™ is under license from Future PLC.
History of War™ is a brand, bringing you thrilling first-hand accounts from war veterans; behind-the-scenes previews of the latest museum exhibitions; detailed illustrations of devastating military technology; authoritative analysis covering centuries of global conflict; and astonishing stories of valor from the battlefields of the past. History of War™ is under license from Future PLC.
All About History™ is an independent brand that brings all the drama, action, scandal and suspense of the past to life with top analysis, gripping storytelling, and amazing illustrations. All About History™ is under license from Future PLC.