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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 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 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. Vox’s internal CMS, Chorus, is central to its strategy to unite its growing set of sites.
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 focus on video. In 2012, it redesigned its sites, uniting their appearance with standardized logo design
The Sacramento Press is a for-profit online local news organization that covers Sacramento, Calif. The Press was launched publicly in 2008 by Ben Ilfeld, who still runs the site. It had an editorial staff of three in 2012, along with numerous unpaid contributors, about 110 of whom wrote articles each month. The site laid off…