Photo: Business Insider
Former interim Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn is now the CEO of Guggenheim Digital Media.Guggenheim Digital Media is a new company, formed by Guggenheim Partners, which calls itself “a global diversified financial services firm.”
GDM says it will allocate “significant capital to acquire and invest in new media companies and properties that will meaningfully expand its current portfolio.”
GDM already owns Billboard, AdWeek, and The Hollywood Reporter – properties of Prometheus Global Media, another company that Guggenheim Partners controls and will now hand over to GDM.
It’s a very good fit for Levinsohn – a prolific dealmaker and true believer in media brands online.
With a big sack of cash and some new media brands to work with, Levinsohn will essentially get to pursue the strategy he would have gone after if he had remained CEO at Yahoo.
That is: building up the value of content brands so they can be monetized across whatever technology platform is the flavour of the day.
At our Ignition Conference late last fall, Levinsohn talked about the power of bringing technology and content businesses together.
“There is not a great enough appreciation, I think, in Silicon Valley for how hard it is to create great content, and, conversely, there is not a great enough appreciation in Hollywood [and New York] for how hard it is to create great technology,” said Levinsohn. “When the two of these things come together, it’s the most powerful thing that exists in our whole ecosystem.”
You can watch him talk about the value of a media brands here:
And here’s the press release for today’s news:
Guggenheim Partners (“Guggenheim”), a global diversified financial services firm, today announced that it has formed Guggenheim Digital Media (“GDM”) and named Ross Levinsohn Chief Executive Officer. As a part of its investment in GDM, Guggenheim anticipates allocating significant capital to acquire and invest in new media companies and properties that will meaningfully expand its current portfolio.
Guggenheim Digital Media will also oversee and operate the existing Prometheus Global Media assets that Guggenheim controls, including the iconic brands of Billboard, Adweek, and The Hollywood Reporter. GDM will continue to invest in both the print and digital versions of these properties, developing cutting-edge and industry-leading products. It will continue to manage The Film Expo Group and CLIO Awards, and partner with additional Guggenheim assets to further develop their digital media strategies, including Dick Clark Productions.
“GDM will play an integral role in developing our iconic portfolio of existing media and entertainment assets, as well as identifying new, groundbreaking investments and partnerships in the music, media, technology, and digital entertainment spaces,” said Todd Boehly, President of Guggenheim Partners. “Ross’s deep industry expertise and impressive track record of executing digital media strategies make him the ideal person to spearhead this new effort.”
“I am excited to be part of the dynamic Guggenheim family of companies,” commented Ross Levinsohn. “GDM has a powerful and competitive portfolio of iconic media assets today, and I look forward to identifying new opportunities for growth as the media and technology industries continue to rapidly evolve.”
Prior to joining Guggenheim, Mr. Levinsohn served as interim Chief Executive Officer for Yahoo!. Previously, he served as EVP and Head of Global Media for Yahoo!, where he was responsible for all aspects of Yahoo!’s digital media business, including the vision, strategy, product, partnerships, engineering, and content creation for its marquee properties and content experiences globally. He joined Yahoo! in 2010 as EVP, Americas, overseeing its largest regional business.
In addition, Guggenheim announced that it has acquired the remaining stake in Prometheus Global Media from Pluribus Capital, which was founded by Jimmy Finkelstein, who previously served as Chairman of Prometheus Global Media.
“We have enjoyed a successful and profitable investment with Prometheus, and Guggenheim now has a dynamic runway for continued success, especially in light of their recent acquisitions in the media industry,” said Mr. Finkelstein.
Mr. Boehly continued, “The partnership between Guggenheim and Pluribus has produced dynamic and growing brands. We credit Jimmy for his leadership and wish him the best of luck in his future ventures.”
Notes to Editors:
(1) Ross Levinsohn spent more than six years at News Corporation, serving as the President of News Corporation’s Fox Interactive Media, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations, strategy, and acquisitions that helped transform the Company into a leader in digital media. He also ran Fox Sports Interactive Media and served as Senior Vice President, News Digital Media before being named President. He also held senior management positions with AltaVista, an early pioneer and leader in search, CBS Sportsline, where he oversaw all content and development for the top-rated sports site, and HBO, where he launched and oversaw a unit developing new programming and revenue streams. Mr. Levinsohn was also the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Fuse Capital, an investment and strategic equity management firm focused on investing in and building digital media and communications companies. Mr. Levinsohn sits on the board of the Tribune Company, Zefr, Inc., and social travel site Minitime, as well as the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program, and previously served on the boards of Freedom Communication and Napster. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from American University.
(2) Since being acquired by Prometheus Global Media, iconic publications such as Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter have undergone major digital expansions. The award-winning The Hollywood Reporter has become dominant in Hollywood, and both it and Adweek have undergone major re-designs. In addition, Billboard introduced the Billboard Awards and continues to expand its footprint around the world. The CLIO Awards has reinforced its role as the most prestigious advertising award, expanding with the debut of CLIO Healthcare and the addition of key new awards categories, and the Film Expo Group, which produces the leading events in the film industry, continues to expand.
About Guggenheim Partners
Guggenheim Partners is a privately held global financial services firm with more than $160 billion in assets under management. The firm provides asset management, investment banking and capital markets services, insurance, institutional finance, and investment advisory solutions to institutions, governments and agencies, corporations, investment advisors, family offices, and individuals. Guggenheim Partners is headquartered in New York and Chicago and serves clients around the world from more than 25 offices in eight countries. For more information about Guggenheim Partners, visit guggenheimpartners.com.