Conde Nast Buys Tech Blog Backchannel From Evan Williams’ Medium

conde nast - backchannel
Courtesy of Backchannel

Conde Nast has acquired tech blog Backchannel from Medium, the publishing platform owned by billionaire and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Backchannel will be the third brand in Conde Nast’s newly formed Wired Media Group, alongside Wired and Ars Technica.

Steven Levy, a founding writer of Wired who launched Backchannel in partnership with Medium in 2014, will return to Conde Nast as part of the acquisition along with executive editor Sandra Upson. In addition, Wired senior writer Jessi Hempel will move to Backchannel as part of the deal.

“Backchannel is one of the most highly respected tech business brands and seamlessly complements Wired and Ars Technica to create the premier group of leading editorial brands covering the technology sector,” said Fred Santarpia, chief digital officer of Condé Nast. “Backchannel’s unique and highly engaged audience of tech enthusiasts also creates new opportunities for our advertisers.”

The deal is the latest move in Conde Nast’s expansion of digital-native properties. Last year it acquired online music pub Pitchfork, and Conde Nast Entertainment launched video hub the Scene in 2014.

Founded by Levy and Medium in 2014, Backchannel is a biz and tech publication covering the culture and stories of Silicon Valley through in-depth stories.

“We’ll be dedicated to building Backchannel into one of the company’s great titles. Also, we intend to make money,” Levy wrote in a blog post announcing the deal. “At Medium, Backchannel hosted a few experiments in sponsorships. Now it’s for real.”

Backchannel will continue to be hosted on the Medium platform, but as a customers like home to Bill Simmons’ the Ringer website. “A moment of silence, please, for the ‘platisher’ era,” Levy wrote.

Pictured above (l. to r.): Jessi Hempel, Steven Levy, Sandra Upson

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