Guardian News nabs ContentNext

Acquisition part of U.S. expansion plan

Guardian News & Media has snapped up ContentNext Media, publisher of digital media news site paidContent.org, in the next phase of its U.S. expansion.

Rafat Ali, who founded ContentNext nearly six years ago, and CEO Nathan Richardson, who joined the company three months ago, will continue to run the company as a stand-alone business. Based in Santa Monica and Gotham, company operates several tech-oriented sites and conferences. Flagship site paidContent.org is an influential tech resource.

Acquisition is Guardian News & Media’s first outside the U.K. Company, which publishes the Guardian and the Observer and launched Guardian America last year. It is owned by the Scott Trust. ContentNext will become part of the Guardian Professional group.

Ali, a native of Manchester, England, said the company had been planning on seeking another round of funding when the Guardian broached a deal. Greycroft Partners invested in the company in 2006.

Before he founded ContentNext, Ali was an editor at Silicon Alley Insider and a reporter for Inside.com.

Besides paidContent.org, its sites are mocoNews.net, a site devoted to mobile news; contentSutra.com, a site covering digital content in India; and paidContentUK. Company runs conferences about social media, online ads and online gossip media. Charlie Koones, former publisher of Daily Variety, is on ContentNext’s board, along with MarketWatch founder Larry Kramer.

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