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Key links:
Primary website:
voxmedia.com
Primary Twitter:
@voxmediainc

Vox Media is an online media company that includes the sports blog network SB Nation, tech site The Verge, and the explanatory journalism site Vox.

Vox Media was formally formed in 2011, but it began with the creation of SB Nation (short for SportsBlog Nation), a network of more than 300 fan-run sports blogs, many of them dedicated to a particular team.

SB Nation was founded in 2003 by Tyler Bleszinski, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of the political blog Daily Kos, and Jerome Armstrong, founder of the political blog MyDD. It raised about $23 million of funding between 2008 and 2011. In 2008, it brought on Jim Bankoff, formerly a product/programming executive at AOL, to serve as CEO. In 2012, Vox Media announced a fundraising round of $17 million, and it raised another $40 million in 2013, bringing its total investment to nearly $80 million.

Vox Media was formed at the launch of the Verge, which was initially largely staffed by former Engadget employees. Vox Media claimed that The Verge was “very profitable” after a year. It also launched a gaming site, Polygon, in October 2012 and bought Curbed, with its sites on dining, fashion, and real estate, in 2013. The following year, it brought in Ezra Klein, formerly of The Washington Post, to launch a new explanatory news site called Vox. Vox Media’s internal CMS, Chorus, is central to its strategy to unite its growing set of sites and was a key selling point for Klein. Vox also bought the collaborative publishing company Editorially in 2014 to incorporate into its work on Chorus.

SB Nation had a staff of about 70 as of late 2011, with its blogging contributors paid monthly. Additionally, The Verge launched with a staff of about 30 full- and part-time employees.

SB Nation has developed content-sharing partnerships with Yahoo Sports, CBS Sports, USA Today, Comcast and NHL.com.

It launched real-time story updates in 2009, and in June 2010, SB Nation began rolling out 20 regional sports sites covering all of the sports teams in a particular city. In March of 2011, it launched Baseball Nation, a national baseball site that operates under the leadership of sports journalist Rob Neyer, who left ESPN.com for the job. It began producing original web video for its own YouTube channel the following year as part of a broader Vox Media focus on video. In 2012, it redesigned its sites, uniting their appearance with standardized logo design

Though its expansion has been seen as competition for local newspapers, SB Nation’s executives have said they view their fan-based perspective as complementary to newspapers’ objective reporting.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Oct. 22, 2014 / Caroline O'Donovan
Six fresh ideas for news design from a #SNDMakes designathon — The Society for News Design hosted its second #SNDMakes hackathon in Boston this past weekend. The last iteration of the event was held in Indianapolis, hosted about two dozen designers, developers, and journalists, and ...
Oct. 14, 2014 / Justin Ellis
The new Vox daily email, explained — he old email newsletter continues its remarkable return to prominence. The latest move: Vox wants to make explaining the news a little more manageable by telling you everything you need to know in the comfort of your inb...
Aug. 25, 2014 / Justin Ellis
The Verge threw a hackweek and invited everyone they know — The idea for a Hack Week at The Verge was fairly simple, says editor-in-chief Nilay Patel. Looking at the example of how quickly sister publication Vox.com spun to life — nine weeks — and started building new story t...
June 10, 2014 / Joseph Lichterman
Chatting with bots: How Slack is changing how newsrooms talk amongst themselves — Election nights are always busy for Jacob Harris, a senior software architect at The New York Times. Using internal data and feeds from external sources, he helps feed election results to NYTimes.com. Based in Washington...
June 9, 2014 / Ken Doctor
The newsonomics of Time Inc.’s anxious spinoff — As it enters new life as a new company, Time Inc. seems to have become a piñata for media watchers. The more iconic they are, it seems, the more they’re fair game, for everything from second-guessing to satire. Ce...

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Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: July 3, 2014.
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