News & Tech: New Atlanta Company Plans to Purchase Media Companies

January 25, 2021

Article by: News & Tech

New Atlanta Company Plans to Purchase Media Companies
A new Atlanta “blank check” firm intends to raise $250 million to purchase media and education tech operations, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. D&Z Media Acquisition says in papers filed with the SEC that it has secured investments from investors Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Navigation Capital and Loop Capital.

D&Z’s chairman, president and CEO is Betty Liu, who was executive vice chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and chief experience officer for NYSE parent company ICE. Liu also had been an anchor and editor for Bloomberg Television and Bloomberg Radio. The company plans to list its units on the NYSE, the business paper reported.

Boston Globe Announces Fresh Start Initiative
The Boston Globe has a new program where people can ask the paper to update or anonymize past stories concerning them online, the paper announced. “The ‘Fresh Start’ initiative is part of a broader effort to rethink the Globe’s criminal justice coverage and how it affects communities of color, amid a national reckoning over racial inequity,” says the paper.

To apply, a person completes a form with the reasons the person wants a review, including pertinent court documents. The Cleveland Plain Dealer started a similar effort in 2019.

G/O Media is Hiring
G/O Media, publisher of Deadspin, Gizmodo, The Onion and other titles, is hiring.
G/O Media aims to hire more than 30 new employees. The hires will include editorial, sales, marketing and tech positions. With 81 new full-time hires in 2020, G/O Media’s end-of-year headcount surpassed where it started in 2020, says the company in a press release.

“Like many others across the digital landscape, our 2nd and 3rd quarters were a tight race to hit budgets,” said Brian Kelly, G/O Media’s chief revenue officer. “However, since mid-Q3, we’ve started to see a dramatic increase in revenue across the business. We remain optimistic given our partner conversations that this trend will continue and gain momentum.”

Ricketts Starting News Outlet
Billionaire Joe Ricketts is starting an online national news outlet called Straight Arrow News, the Omaha World-Herald reported. The operation will be based in Omaha, the paper says. Online job ads for Straightarrownews.com say the outlet will be “dedicated to unbiased, nonpartisan reporting” and is planned to launched in February.

“I think there’s a gap in the market — there’s no source for unbiased, fact-based news. And I believe there’s a business opportunity there,” Ricketts told the World-Herald.
Ricketts is the founder of TD Ameritrade. He owns the Chicago Cubs. His son Pete Ricketts is the Republican governor of Nebraska.

In 2009, Joe Ricketts started DNAinfo, focused on news in New York and Chicago. He purchased news site Gothamist and combined the sites. Ricketts closed the operation in 2017 after staffers opted to form a union, the World-Herald says.

Upland Software Buys Second Street
Austin, Texas-based Upland Software, a provider of cloud-based tools for digital transformation, has acquired Second Street Media, an audience engagement cloud software platform. Adding Second Street to Upland’s product portfolio will provide Upland’s customers the “power to build promotions and email campaigns that grow revenue, customer databases and consumer engagement,” says a press release on the buy.

“Our customers need to deliver content experiences consumers enjoy interacting with and benefit from,” said Jack McDonald, chairman and CEO of Upland. “Contests and interactive content are a proven and effective way to engage, attract and retain consumers, and Second Street delivers this at scale.”

With Second Street, businesses can create cross-channel, opt-in customer experiences with a catalog of 700 template and customizable sweepstakes, contests, brackets, quizzes and other items, says the release.

More news

• Floyd Press’s (Virginia) building is for sale, the paper reported.
• The Daily Progress’s (Charlottesville, Virginia) headquarters are being sold, the paper reported.

• The Courier Journal’s (Evansville, Indiana) printing facility in Louisville, which prints the Courier & Press and The Gleaner, will close in March, the paper reported.

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