Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective Agrees To Buy Atlantic Media


The Atlantic will soon have a new owner — the Emerson Collective, an organization founded by philanthropist and investor Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple’s Steve Jobs.

Emerson agreed to buy a majority stake in Atlantic Media from its Chairman David Bradley. They did not disclose the price paid for the organization’s  flagship magazine, digital properties  (including National Journal, Quartz, The Hotline, and Government Executive), live events business, and consulting services.

Bradley will continue to own a minority stake  and run the organization for now.  In a memo to staffers he says that “likely, but not certainly, Emerson Collective will purchase my remaining interest three to five years from now.”

Emerson’s Managing Director of Media Peter Lattman will become vice chairman of The Atlantic, in addition to his current work.

“How might management change? I don’t think at all,” Bradley, 64, writes. “I will continue in my current role with my current responsibilities for three to five years. In fact, my agreement with Emerson Collective contemplates the possibility that I may remain in some capacity for some longer time.”

He adds: “Against the odds, The Atlantic is prospering. While I will stay at the helm some years, the most consequential decision of my career now is behind me: who next will take stewardship of this 160-year-old national treasure? To me, the answer, in the form of Laurene, feels incomparably right.”

Jobs, 53, calls The Atlantic “one of the country’s most important and enduring journalistic institutions” reaching back 160 years when the magazine was founded by abolitionists including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

She owns about 4% of Disney’s stock.

Bradley bought The Atlantic from  New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report owner Mort Zuckerman in 1999. Since then, the company says, its average monthly readership grew to 33 million from 2 million, and moved from losing more than $10 million a year to generating more than $10 million in profits.

Print accounts for about 20% of Atlantic Media’s revenues. The remaining 80% is from digital advertising, the AtlanticLive events business, and the Atlantic Media Strategies consulting services.

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