Minute Media Acquires The Big Lead From Gannett as It Looks to Acquire More Lifestyle Brands

They're looking at categories across food, tech, sports and entertainment

Gannett took over The Big Lead in 2012. The Big Lead
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Minute Media, a publishing and technology company, is acquiring more properties largely centered around lifestyle brands as it looks to grow into different categories.

Most recently, it acquired The Big Lead from Gannett. Financial details of the term weren’t disclosed.

“We think this is a time that you need to be aggressive in media,” said Minute Media president Rich Routman. “We’ve been looking at lots of different opportunities” across categories like food, sports, tech and entertainment.

The mandate from the company’s board is to be “as aggressive as possible” finding brands with a large digital presence and a native audience to bring under the umbrella to share resources.

In September last year, Minute Media acquired Mental Floss, formerly a trivia print magazine-turned website. It’s looking to expand that reach even more with a fundraised $77 million.

There are multiple media properties openly on the market, even after a year of various acquisitions and mergers. And though Routman didn’t say what properties they’re interested in buying, he did say that they would shy away from companies specializing in news, finance and politics.

“We’re a platform business. We’re not a publishing business, and being a platform business, we’re in a position where we can support multiple brands and leverage our infrastructure,” Routman said.

The Big Lead launched as a sports blog in 2006 by sports writer Jason McIntyre and David Lessa before it sold a few years later to Fantasy Sports Ventures and ultimately landing with Gannett in 2012.

Under Gannett, unique visitors to the site peaked at 5.2 million visitors in Nov. 2015, according to Comscore figures. That number has since decreased to 2.1 million unique visitors in January of this year, according to the most recent data available.

Previously, McIntyre had followed the company to each new owner, but as Morning Consult first reported, he won’t follow it to Minute Media, among other staffing changes.

Routman said he was sure there would be staffing changes in the short-term, but “nothing seismic,” and that the team would grow over time.

A spokeswoman for Gannett did not immediately return requests for comment.

Minute Media also controls an international soccer website, 90min, a site around U.S. sports called 12up and gaming site DBLTAP.

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.
Publish date: March 14, 2019 https://stage.adweek.com/digital/minute-media-acquires-the-big-lead-from-gannett-as-it-looks-to-acquire-more-lifestyle-brands/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT