×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Will Packer Media Acquires Women’s Lifestyle Site xoNecole

Entertainment production firm Will Packer Media has acquired xoNecole, a lifestyle website focused on urban millennial women created and run by blogger Necole Kane.

WPM founder and CEO Will Packer, whose producing credits include “Girls Trip,” “Ride Along,” “Think Like a Man” and “Straight Outta Compton,” said the addition of xoNecole (xonecole.com) is aimed at boosting WPM’s direct connection with its audiences. In addition, he’s look to adapt content produced by xoNecole for TV series and film projects.

“It fits perfectly with what I’m doing with my company,” said Packer. “I was looking for someone I could partner with who has a highly engaged audience and speaks authentically to them.” He added, “Necole is amazingly gifted in her ability to connect with women and deliver much-needed engaging, smart and empowering content that is aspirational and impactful.”

Financial terms of the deal, which closed in late 2017, weren’t disclosed. The staff of xoNecole will remain located in New York (where Kane is based), L.A. and Atlanta.

WPM is investing in the site to expand video, social and mobile content as well as develop a newsletter and launch in-person events, including activations during Fashion Week and educational and networking events. The goal is to turn xoNecole into a multifaceted digital-media women’s brand akin to Refinery29 or Popsugar.

Packer formed WPM last year in partnership with Discovery Communications and Universal Pictures. The company currently has 15 projects in development across 10 networks and platforms. XONecole is the company’s first owned-and-operated digital property, and Packer said WPM is on the lookout for potential acquisitions in the space.

Kane once traded in salacious celebrity dish as proprietor of gossip site NecoleBitchie.com, which she launched in 2008. Then she shifted gears: In 2015, Kane shut down NecoleBitchie and formed xoNecole with a focus on beauty, fashion, lifestyle, career and travel features. The new site’s mission is to promote positive images of women of color, as well as empower, educate and inspire millennials.

Ending her gossip site “was a very risky and terrifying move,” Kane said, but “I knew I wanted to offer my readers content that was more empowering and purposeful, would inspire them to live their best lives, and was deeply rooted in giving women permission to evolve.” She added, “Will Packer is someone I’ve always admired and respected, and he knows my audience. I couldn’t think of a better partnership.”

Packer said he first met Kane when some of the stars in his films were the subjects of items on her now-defunct gossip site.

“I want to be aligned with someone like Necole,” he said. “She’s had ups and downs, but she’s a survivor and a fighter. She’s also vulnerable and admits her shortcomings.”

The xoNecole team will continue to be led by Kane, overseen by WPM co-founder and COO Alix Baudin, formerly SVP and GM of Scripps Networks Interactive’s digital operations. Thanks to changes led by Baudin to streamline the site’s features and interface, xoNecole’s traffic has doubled in the last three months, according to Packer (who declined to provide specific metrics). “We see Necole as the face of a young and empowered generation of women who want to lift each other up and be inspired to evolve,” said Baudin.

In addition to traditional ad sales, xoNecole will be supported by content marketing and branded-entertainment partnerships, as well as the slate of live events, according to Packer.

Pictured above: Necole Kane and Will Packer

More Digital

  • BuzzFeed logo

    BuzzFeed Set to Lay Off 15% of Its Employees

    BuzzFeed is slashing its workforce by 15% in a move to boost the internet-media company’s profitability and “focus on content that is working,” according to a memo from CEO Jonah Peretti sent to staffers Wednesday. The cuts will be made next week, according to Peretti’s memo. BuzzFeed has about 1,450 employees worldwide, so around 218 [...]

  • Verizon New Logo

    Verizon Media Laying Off 800 Employees, or 7% of Staff in AOL and Yahoo Group

    Verizon is cutting 7% of the employees in its media group, or around 800 staffers in the division that combined AOL and Yahoo. “This week, we will make changes that will impact around 7% of our global workforce across the organization, as well as certain brands and products,” Verizon Media Group CEO Guru Gowrappan wrote in [...]

  • cheddar

    Cheddar Now on All U.S. OTT Streaming Services, Preps Primetime Programming Block

    Video-news startup Cheddar is launching its live-streaming news networks on Sony’s PlayStation Vue, making it the first content provider to span all over-the-top subscription services in the U.S. The company, founded in 2016, operates two networks — the newly rebranded Cheddar Business, positioned as a CNBC-style financial and business network for millennials, and Cheddar News, [...]

  • Avi Saxena - Discovery

    Discovery Hires Amazon's Avi Saxena as CTO of Direct-to-Consumer Unit, Will Open Seattle Office

    Discovery hired Avi Saxena, former VP of technology for Amazon Marketplace, as chief technology officer of direct-to-consumer. Saxena reports to the guy who was his boss at Amazon: Peter Faricy, who was appointed CEO of Discovery’s Global Direct-to-Consumer division in August 2018 and who headed up the Amazon Marketplace third-party seller business. In the newly created [...]

  • Spaces Terminatro VR Experience Goes Live

    Comcast-Backed Spaces Launches San Jose Location With 'Terminator' VR Experience

    Comcast-backed virtual reality startup Spaces is getting ready to open its second California location in San Jose next month: The company has teamed up with Cinemark to open a new VR center at the Century 20 Oakridge and XD theatre in San Jose on February 8. The new Cinemark Spaces center will open with “Fight for [...]

  • Sean Hannity Reveals Broadband Plans for

    Sean Hannity Reveals His Plans for Fox News Streaming Service (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sean Hannity sometimes tells younger colleagues at Fox News Channel that he is “the bridge between two generations of Fox” because he has been part of its primetime lineup since 1996. Now he may serve a similar purpose for a third. Fox News will next week bring Hannity to the world of video-streaming, launching “Hannity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content