Deadline parent Penske Media Corporation today announced it’s acquiring GoldDerby.com, the Tom O’Neil-founded site featuring entertainment industry award predictions by journalists and fans. The financial terms and details of the acquisition were not disclosed. GoldDerby.com will continue as a standalone property under the PMC umbrella, enhancing awards coverage by PMC’s other publications, including Deadline Hollywood, Variety, Hollywood Life and TVLine.
“Today’s announcement reflects our strategy to invest in quality media brands with intrinsic value,” said PMC Chairman and CEO Jay Penske. “We’ve watched Gold Derby develop as a premiere brand in Hollywood delivering innovative predictions and racetrack odds monitored closely by a devoted audience; we look forward to tapping into that audience while also benefiting from its smart digital tools.”
The site will be operated by the newly formed Gold Derby Media LLC, which will be overseen by GoldDerby.com founder Tom O’Neil, who continues as the site’s editor-in-chief and president. Editorial and tech employees will also move to PMC as part of the deal, while ad sales will be overseen by PMC’s SVP Entertainment and Publisher of Deadline Stacey Farish.
“By bringing GoldDerby.com to PMC, we see valuable opportunities for our partners and advertisers to increase their reach to key readers in exciting ways,” said Farish. “Complementing our existing awards coverage, Tom’s inventive site is an outstanding addition to PMC and we look forward to catapulting Gold Derby to even greater revenue and traffic potentials.”
GoldDerby.com was launched in 2000 by O’Neil, a journalist who has devoted his career to studying all major entertainment industry awards and is the author of Variety’s books “Movie Awards,” “The Emmys” and “The Grammys” (Penguin Putnam). From 2005 to 2011, he worked for the Los Angeles Times to help launch its awards brand The Envelope. In 2010 he re-launched GoldDerby.com with a new emphasis on technology that enabled users to make predictions and compete against journalists from PMC, Entertainment Weekly, Associated Press, Yahoo, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post and other major media outlets.
“By teaming up with PMC, Gold Derby now joins the top tier of Hollywood media – I feel like I just won the Oscar,” said O’Neil.
Gold Derby users predict more than 20 award shows per year and lately have been invited to predict reality TV shows, too. The site also features more than 1,000 interviews with top talent. Also popular are videos pitting the experts against each other in prediction “slugfests.” At the last Oscars derby, the experts beat users when predicting winners (83% to 75%, respectively) and nominations (71% to 68%).