4 media companies including Thrillist and NowThis have merged — and Discovery just poured $100 million into it

Ben lerer

Discovery Communications is making a $100 million investment in an entity called “Group Nine Media,” a new holding company that ties together media brands Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo, and Seeker (Discovery’s digital network).

Ben Lerer, Thrillist’s CEO, will be the CEO of Group Nine.

“The merging of these millennial-focused brands will immediately create in Group Nine Media one of the largest digital-first media companies,” the company said in a press release.

Ben Lerer said the following in a statement: “Each of our brands has found great success independently, but with consolidation of digital content companies around the corner, there is extraordinary value in all existing under one multi-brand roof. We will be stronger brands working together – we will have more influence; we will have better data and insights; we will be better partners to our advertisers; and most importantly, we will be substantial enough to make a real difference and stay ahead of the market.”

While Discovery’s $100 million investment is a minority investment, it will have the option to buy a controlling stake, according to the company. Axel Springer will be the the second-largest shareholder in Group Nine.


Disclosure: Axel Springer is Business Insider’s parent company.

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