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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.

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:
April 11, 2014 / Mark Coddington
This Week in Review: Vox and the wonk boom, and Comcast defends its TWC merger plans — Vox, tech, and wonk journalism: Former Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein launched his explanatory journalism site, Vox, this week, cautioning in an introductory note with co-editors Melissa Bell and Matt Yglesias that i...
April 10, 2014 / Ken Doctor
The newsonomics of 50/50 and the unchaining of the U.S. press — Asked last week whether he was buying the Star Tribune for business or altruistic reasons, Glen Taylor said a lot in a two-word answer: “50/50.” News observers have parsed and poked at every recent big buy ov...
April 7, 2014 / Joshua Benton
Marty Baron on Ezra Klein’s departure: “The company is owned 100 percent by Jeff Bezos, so any decision to fund a new venture would be his to make” — It’s remarkable, I think, how much mainstream-media attention the departures of Nate Silver from The New York Times and Ezra Klein from The Washington Post have gotten over the past few months. I’ve admired t...
April 7, 2014 / Marty Baron
Optimism is the only option: The Washington Post’s Marty Baron on the state of the news media — I knew that title would be a bit of a risk. Our profession and our business face many problems, many pressures. Optimism is not always easy to find, and sometimes it’s perilous to admit, especially when you’r...
April 2, 2014 / Justin Ellis
Reinventing the story experience at SND Prototypes — How can media companies re-invent the story? Specifically, how can the designers, coders, and other product-minded people help make storytelling a richer experience through technology? This is the question teams of journ...

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Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: April 10, 2014.
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