- Jan 11, 2014
Can we talk a bit about Escapist Magazine, and Defy Media who owns this poo poo? And what is the background of these journalists (if they even have any journalistic background at all, as their current editor in chief is mainly an advertisement guy) And have they been investigative ever before?
TLDR: Defy Media is the Click Bait Empire, the whole point of their brands seems to be content delivery to their target groups built on a giant ad-platform to monetize upon. It's literally the cancer of the internet.
I am no longer the Editor-in-Chief of The Escapist.
Due to budget cuts at Defy Media, the parent company of The Escapist, Game Front, and GameTrailers, a large number of my colleagues have also been let go. This news sucks for everyone, including those left behind to run these publications. My thoughts are with all of you and I hope you bounce back with a new gig soon.
I want to thank the people who made working for The Escapist awesome. I'm especially proud of the team of senior editors I assembled to cover the super-wide spectrum of geekiness out there. We produced a monumental amount of editorials, reviews and columns that were informative and fun-to-read, but, much more importantly, we had each other's support when we needed it most. Thank you for making the last six months bearable.
There is not much more to say right now. I am hanging out playing Disney Skylanders with my kid and I have plans to finally get in shape this winter. I'm excited for the future.
In the meantime, please enjoy my tweets about Civilization, parenting, baseball and beer.
The Escapist (typeset as the escapist) is an online magazine covering mostly video games as well as movies, comics, TV, and more. Published by Alexander Macris since its inception, it was edited by Julianne Greer up to June 30, 2009, then by Russ Pitts through September 2011, then by Steve Butts until September 4, 2012, then by Susan Arendt until June 14, 2013, then by Greg Tito until January 21, 2015 and is currently edited by Joshua Vanderwall. The Escapist was first published on July 12, 2005. The Escapist originally ran weekly with a main edition published on Tuesday but it is now updated continuously. On the 15th November 2012 it was announced that the Escapist had been acquired by online media company Alloy Digital from its corporate owner, Themis Media, for an undisclosed sum. In 2014, Alloy Digital merged with Break Media to form Defy Media, the website's present owner.
Josh Vanderwall, current managing editor (the fourth in four years)
Most recently working in Ad Operations for Themis Group, Inc. and The Escapist, I managed the video, banner, and custom inventory, monitoring weekly traffic trends to predict campaign delivery problems. Managing all ad trafficking, as well as mid- and post-campaign reporting, I developed a knack for identifying problems early, allowing the Sales team the opportunity to address any potential issues with clients.
Previously, I worked in Customer Service, starting as a Game Master in 2004, and eventually managing my own team of six CS reps for Wizard101's 2 million players.
Parent Company Defy Media
Barry Blumberg, Head of Content for Defy Media,
Oversees the company’s content and programming strategy for its portfolio of top ranked digital brands.
In his previous role under Alloy Digital, Blumberg also continued to serve as President of Defy-owned pop-culture phenomenon SMOSH – hailed by Time Magazine as the “SNL of the Internet” and FORBES “30 under 30.” The comedic duo’s award-winning website and multiple top-ranked YouTube channels attract a devoted audience of teens and young adults that reach more than 30 million total platform subscribers. Under Blumberg’s guidance, SMOSH has blossomed into a multi-faceted enterprise that includes multiple record-setting channel spinoffs, top-charting musical endeavors, merchandising brand extensions, mobile apps, gaming and theatrical exhibition (credit geoffrey). He is also the brainchild behind SMOSH’s Shut Up! Cartoons, the original animation channel which ranks among the most viewed premium funded channels, as well as SMOSH Games, one of the fastest growing channels in YouTube’s history.
Prior to joining SMOSH, Blumberg served as President, Walt Disney Television Animation, overseeing production of more than 1,000 episodes delivered to Disney Channels and other global distribution outlets. Prior to Disney, he was EVP of Harvey Entertainment, where he managed media and merchandising activities for Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich.
CEO Matthew Diamond
As CEO of Defy Media, Matt Diamond guides corporate strategy and oversees company management. He was formerly CEO of Alloy Digital, where his keen vision was instrumental in the company’s meteoric rise in a rapidly evolving digital space and the significant growth of globally recognized and top-ranked media platforms. He played a key strategic role in the recent “merger of equals” with Break Media.
In 1996, Matt co-founded Alloy, Inc. together with Jim Johnson, taking the company public in May 1999 and building it to become one of the most important millennial-focused media and marketing companies of the past two decades. Alloy Digital was the outgrowth of Alloy, Inc.’s interactive division, a dedicated unit formed in 2009 addressing industry needs amid shifting market trends.
As CEO of Alloy, Inc., Matt was instrumental in the establishment of the company’s multi-discipline marketing unit, Alloy Media + Marketing, and lead key expansions, including the acquisition of Alloy Entertainment (formerly 17 th Street Productions), the youth media behemoth behind pop culture phenomenon’s “Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Pretty Little Liars, among others, which was sold to Warner Bros. Television Group; Channel One, the award-winning premiere television news network for teens; and Alloy Education, a leader in student recruitment solutions for higher education. Until 2005, Alloy, Inc. included the youth merchandise brands Alloy, CCS and dEliA*s. Under Matt’s leadership, these businesses grew to be among the largest direct marketers (e-commerce and catalog) to teens and young-adults in the U.S. and were divested via a public to public spinoff (credit dumas). In November 2010, Alloy, Inc. completed a go-private transaction by an investor group led by ZelnickMedia.
Prior to founding Alloy, Inc., Matt held positions in the Finance and Operations groups at the General Electric Company, including two years at the company’s offices in Tokyo.
Matt also serves on the board of Do Something, Inc. and, in 2009, the youth focused non-profit organization honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award for the company’s considerable contributions. He has also supported youth education initiatives in New York City, dedicating his time to the Bronx Academy of Letters—awarded a rare A in both the Department of Education’s 2006-07 and 2007-08 progress reports—and as a member the PENCIL program pairing business leaders with public schools.
Matt graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in International Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1991 and received his MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business in 1996.
President Defy Media Keith Richman
As president, Keith oversees all areas of content development, product, technology and marketing for DEFY Media. Keith co-founded Break Media in 2004 and as the CEO was responsible for the overall strategic direction of the business, building it into a 160 person, profitable digital media company. He led the company through its merger with Alloy Digital in 2013.
Keith is a prominent voice on the successful implementation of workable business models in the ever-changing digital video space and the convergence of TV and digital. Named by The Hollywood Reporter as a member of the 2014 “Silicon Beach Power 25,” Keith is considered a leading expert in marketing to the coveted young digital demographic, which makes up the majority of DEFY Media’s audience of more than 155 million monthly viewers.
Prior to co-founding Break Media, Keith was the co-founder and vice-president of OnePage (acquired by Sybase 2002) and co-founder and director of business development for Billpoint Inc. Keith was integral in developing the business plan and raising venture funding, which ultimately led to the company’s successful acquisition by eBay in 1999.
Previous posts also include business development manager at Excite and Classifieds2000, as well as director of corporate planning at the Walt Disney Company, where he focused on consumer products, cable and emerging media.
He was included in The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Gen 2007 New Media list of the most talented executives in film, television, representation, legal and new media, all age 35 and under, recognized in the prestigious annual “40 Under 40″ by Multichannel News and was named one of the “10 to Watch” by Television Week in 2006.
Keith holds an MA and a BA from Stanford in International Policy Studies and resides in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.
EVP Marketing Andy Tu
Andy Tu is the EVP Marketing at Defy Media, a leading digital media company formed by the 2013 merger of Alloy Digital and Break Media. Defy Media creates some of the most popular content in digital media across brands including Break, Made Man, SMOSH, Screen Junkies, Clevver and The Escapist, together reaching more than 155 million consumers monthly through owned web, YouTube, mobile, social and emerging OTT platforms.
Andy leads strategy across corporate and consumer marketing initiatives for the company including research, trade and consumer marketing, public relations, social media, audience development, events and creative services. Rooted in research, Andy spearheads the company’s Acumen Report, an initiative that provides insight into both the male and youth audiences to help bridge the gap between advertisers and audience (credit geoffrey). Last year’s study received national media attention for shining a light on the changing dynamic of men and masculinity.
Andy joined the Break Media team in 2007 and was instrumental in developing the company’s initial go-to-market sales strategy, which helped grow Break Media’s client roster from a small handful of partners into hundreds of relationships with blue chip clients across various industries including entertainment, gaming, CPG and automotive.
Andy is a proud Nebraska native and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son. Prior to Defy Media, Andy worked in sales strategy and account management at AOL to help develop and execute integrated campaigns for AOL’s most valued advertising partners.
EVP, General Counsel and Secretary
As EVP, General Counsel and Secretary, Gina DiGioia oversees the company’s corporate, legal and business affairs. She works closely with other DEFY Media team members to effectively support the company’s growth initiatives, including managing its M&A activities. She played an integral role in the recent Alloy Digital and Break Media “merger of equals”.
Prior to the merger, Gina served as General Counsel & Secretary for Alloy Digital. Gina joined Alloy, Inc. in April 2001 as the Company’s Vice-President, General Counsel, and in 2004, the Alloy, Inc. Board of Directors also recognized her as the company’s Chief Legal Officer. As a member of the executive management team, she helped build Alloy, Inc. to become one of the most important millennial-focused media and marketing companies of the past two decades. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day legal affairs of the company, Gina managed more than 40 corporate transactions, including the 2005 public to public spinoff of Alloy, Inc.’s merchandising business into dELiA*s, Inc.; the 2010 Alloy, Inc (credit geoffrey). go-private transaction with an investor group led by Zelnick Media; and the 2012 divestiture of the Alloy Entertainment business to Warner Bros. Television Group.
Prior to joining Alloy, Inc. Gina was with the law firm of Grant, Herrmann, Schwartz & Klinger, LLP. She received a B.A. in International Studies from American University in 1991 and a J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law in 1996. Since 2010 Gina has been a member of the Board of Directors of National Safe Place, a national outreach program that educates young people on the dangers of running away and offers a safe haven for those in threatening situations.
CRO, Mark Gall
As Chief Revenue Officer for DEFY Media, Mark Gall leads the company’s sales staff and guides the strategic direction and development of media and custom advertising solutions across the its top ranked owned and operated brand portfolio.
Mark brings more than two decades of strategic advertising sales and marketing experience to DEFY Media. Prior to joining DEFY, Mark Gall served as EVP, TV & Digital Ad Sales for BBC Worldwide since 2007, where he built and led the North America, Canada and Latin America sales team responsible for significant revenue growth across both cable and digital platforms during his tenure. Mark’s career in media sales spans over twenty years where he held senior level positions and leadership roles at several globally recognized media companies, including The Weather Channel, Tribune Broadcasting, Discovery Communications and CNN.
Break Media was a privately held company that owned several Internet properties targeted at men (males aged 18–34 make up 70% of their visitors), including Break.com (its first website), Screen Junkies, CagePotato, Chickipedia, HolyTaco, MadeMan, AllLeftTurns, TuVez and GameFront. It was founded in June 1998 by Keith Richman. From then until its eventual merger, the company's websites experienced significant growth. Traffic across all its websites grew by 35% in 2009, with 27.9 million visitors in February 2010. The company's network of websites, many which create original video content, make it the 11th most popular video network online. In October 2013, Break Media merged with Alloy Digital to create Defy Media.
Alloy Digital is one of the largest YouTube multichannel networks, with properties including Smosh, and claims to reach more than 95 million unique users per month. Break Media, whose principal investor is Lionsgate, says it reached 70-plus million uniques monthly, centering on comedy site Break.com.
Under one roof, Alloy Digital boasts the critical assets for a multi-platform, next generation media company targeting the highly-coveted, early-adopter 12-34 year-old demographic--Generate's cost-effective development, production and talent management, premium original programming from creators such as Smosh and Clevver, distribution across Alloy Digital's top-ranked network of media platforms and monetization through sponsorship, ad sales, social media and promotion. Alloy Digital's proprietary digital media network has ranked top in its category for more than three consecutive years, according to comScore, and attracts more than 90MM consumers each month with reach to over 53% of P12-34 internet users. Alloy Digital holds its position as offering a top-10 video network which delivers several hundred million monthly streams and includes award-winning Smosh, the #3 YouTube channel, as well as Shut UP! Cartoons, one of the fastest-growing YouTube premium channels. The network has attracted over 14MM followers combined across its dedicated social media profiles. Alloy Digital delivers digital campaigns for FORTUNE 500 advertisers and has received multiple industry accolades, including the prestigious ADVERTISING AGE Media Vanguard, an OMMA Award and a DIGIDAY Video Award.
Alloy Digital CEO Matt Diamond will become chief executive of Defy Media, while Break Media topper Keith Richman will assume the role of president.
In March, Alloy Digital raised $30 million in funding from ABS Capital Partners; previous investors included Zelnick Media. Then in April the company bought Digital Broadcasting Group, one of the biggest online-video syndication networks, which was its sixth acquisition in past two years
Above mentioned merged into
Defy Media owns and operates online brands including Smosh, Shut Up! Cartoons, Clevver Media, Smosh Games, The Escapist, Teen, Gurl, The Gloss, and Crushable, as well as Break.com, Screen Junkies, CagePotato, Chickipedia, HolyTaco, MadeMan, AllLeftTurns, TuVez and GameFront which were inherited from Break media. Each of these brands operates a dedicated website and YouTube channel. Defy Media's online program offerings include The Single Life, The Confession, Fashion on the Fly, Dating Rules, Chasing, Style Rules, Wendy, Style Setters, and The Sub.
According to ComScore, Defy counts more than 38 million followers among its owned brands, reaching 221 million unique visitors each month. Together, its channels reach over 80 million video viewers monthly.
Defy's main investors are Viacom, Lionsgate, ZelnickMedia and ABS Capital.
(short for Video & Audio Communications) is an American global mass media company with interests primarily in, but not limited to, cinema and cable television. It is the world's sixth largest broadcasting and cable company in terms of revenue (behind The Walt Disney Company, Time Warner, Comcast, Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., and CBS Corporation, respectively). Voting control of Viacom is held by National Amusements, Inc., a privately owned theater company controlled in turn by billionaire Sumner Redstone. Redstone also holds, via National Amusements, a controlling stake in CBS Corporation.
The current Viacom was created on December 31, 2005, as a spinoff from CBS Corporation, which changed its name from Viacom to CBS at the same time. CBS, not Viacom, retains control of the over-the-air broadcasting, TV production, outdoor advertising, subscription pay television (Showtime) and publishing assets (Simon & Schuster) previously owned by the pre-split company. Predecessor firms of Viacom include Gulf+Western, which later became Paramount Communications Inc., and Westinghouse Electric Corporation.
Comprising BET Networks, Viacom Media Networks, and Paramount Pictures, Viacom operates approximately 170 networks reaching approximately 700 million subscribers in 160 countries.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation (or Lionsgate) is a Canadian-American entertainment company. The company was formed in Vancouver, British Columbia, on July 3, 1997, and is headquartered in Santa Monica, California. As of November 2013, it is the most commercially successful mini major film and television distribution company in North America and the seventh most profitable movie studio. Lionsgate Films is not to be confused with Robert Altman's former company, Lion's Gate Films, although both names refer to the same Vancouver landmark, the Lions Gate bridge.
ZelnickMedia LLC is a private equity firm specializing in buyout investments in middle-market companies. The firm seeks to invest in under-valued media enterprises with a focus on video games and interactive entertainment; television advertising; wireless network enabling software; business information; tradeshows; media-related business services; publishing; recorded music; television production and distribution; Telecommunications Infrastructure; digital media; entertainment content production and distribution; loyalty marketing; radio, advertising; online games and entertainment software; direct marketing and market research; branded properties; and media-related technologies.
founded ZMC (originally known as ZelnickMedia) in 2001. Mr. Zelnick is responsible for responsible for originating, structuring and monitoring investments. Mr. Zelnick currently represents ZMC on the board of Alloy, L.L.C. He is Chairman of ITN Networks and serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Previously, Mr. Zelnick was on the boards of Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, L.L.C. and Naylor L.L.C. He also served as Chairman and CEO of Columbia Music Entertainment and was Chairman of Direct Holdings Worldwide and OTX.
Prior to forming ZMC, Mr. Zelnick was President and Chief Executive Officer of BMG Entertainment, at that time one of the world’s largest music and entertainment companies with more than 200 record labels and operations in 54 countries.
Before joining BMG Entertainment, Mr. Zelnick was President and Chief Executive Officer of Crystal Dynamics, a producer and distributor of interactive entertainment software. Prior to that, he spent four years as President and Chief Operating Officer of 20th Century Fox, where he managed all aspects of Fox Inc.’s worldwide motion picture production and distribution business.
Previously, Mr. Zelnick spent three years at Vestron Inc., two as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Zelnick also served as Vice President of International Television Sales at Columbia Pictures.
Mr. Zelnick holds a BA from Wesleyan University, as well as an MBA from Harvard Business School and a JD from Harvard Law School.
ABS Capital Partners is an American venture capital firm focused on investments in companies across a range of industries, including business and education services, information and communications technology and health care.
The firm, which is based in Baltimore, was founded in 1990. The firm has raised approximately $2.5 billion since inception across seven funds.
ABS Capital Partners is a member of the National Venture Capital Association  and the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association.
ABS Capital Partners was founded in 1990 and was originally the investment arm of Alex. Brown & Sons (later BT Alex. Brown). The firm's founder, Donald Hebb spent more than 20 years with Alex. Brown where he was CEO from 1986 to 1991, leading the initial public offering in 1986.
ABS is an acronym representing the firm's predecessor organization Alex. Brown & Sons.
Among the firm's notable investments include Rosetta Stone, American Public Education, Captivate Network, iTOK and DoubleClick.
I disagree. Please elaborate.