Media News

Wednesday, Jul 18

mediabistro.com Merges With Jupitermedia: a marriage of minds & media resources

Today is probably the happiest day of my life. (Okay, second happiest. Getting married to Jon was pretty excellent.) When I put up my first web site in 1996 -- or was it 1997? the records are gone -- it was a humble little directory on someone else's web site. Not even a site of its own. There was no hope of a business plan, much less a profitable business. The entire reason for its existence was to help media people, myself included, meet up, hook up and share resources with one another -- a social network with bare bones technology.


Fast forward through the Internet crash, 9-ll and numerous other challenges and today, we have the largest community of media pros -- from magazine editors to TV news anchors to marketing people to ad agency execs -- reading our daily news, flashing onto our blogs, posting job ads, replying to job ads, attending seminars and events and generally making merry with mediabistro.com's many offerings.

Today, 10 years later, what started as a tiny little web site is now a full-fledged business that generates significant sales and profits, from its thriving job board, its education department (serving 15,000 students and counting!), ad sales and premium content. We have more than 1 million visitors a month, and more than 6 million page views per month.

When Jupitermedia contacted us a few months back, I couldn't think of a better company to acquire us. The companies complement each other in so many ways. Jupiter has its own job boards, JustTechJobs.com. It has a vast customer base of creatives and creative buyers on its Graphics.com network. It has a huge e-media business. And, finally, its CEO Alan Meckler, has years of experience in the conference business, an area where we are eager to grow. Which brings me to my last, but very important point. Alan Meckler is a visionary. He gets it in a way that few old media CEOs do. He pursued Yahoo!, Infoseek, imdb.com, Craigslist.org, Slashdot and Wired.com long before they were brand names. He owns the URL Internet.com for a reason. And now, he owns us.

Welcome, Alan, to the 'bistro! We look forward to working with you. It's the beginning of a beautiful partnership. To all of you who are wondering: NO, I'm not leaving. I'm starting a new exciting chapter of my mediabistro.com life -- as an employee. For you, who've made mediabistro.com what it is, this won't mean any major changes. If anything, Jupitermedia's resources will only help us improve and expand our services. So, stay tuned for what's to come.

No announcement would be complete without a long list of thank-yous. Here are the people who I am grateful to, in chronological (and in some case nonsensical) order. I apologize in advance if I have missed a name or two:

Russ Baker -- for coming up with the idea for a media cocktail party, a salon, where media people could meet after work and talk shop. If it hadn't been for a serendipitous lunch in 1993, or was it 1994, I would never have met you and you would never have uttered those famous words "let's have a party and each invite a few friends."

Ann Shoket -- for telling me "you need a web site" to keep the party going 24/7 and offering up the services of her then-boyfriend James Golden.

James Golden -- for creating the original web site as a directory on his web site. Anyone out there remember the URL www.goldennyc.com/pressclub? Thanks, James!

Ben Ko, Nate Zelnick and the other tech gurus, who escorted me through the vagaries of PERL script and Cold Fusion.

Daniel Kunitz, former managing editor of the Paris Review, for accepting lunch at Balthazar and agreeing to hook me up with "rich people." Best $50 investment I ever made.

Dan Ambrose -- business plan consultant extraordinaire. Without his guidance framing the financial projections for that original business plan, I would never have been able to raise money.

Marty Peretz, for being a visionary investor, for letting me into his old-boys club and funding my wildly ambitious business plan.

Bill Ackman and David Berkowitz AKA "Berkie," of Gotham Partners, who believed that Marty was onto something, and also for funding my wildly ambitious business plan. Bill, you always surprise me. You've pushed me to achieve great things that aren't calculable on any spreadsheet. You have shown me by your generous example what giving truly is.

Ajay Arora, ceo of eRSVP.com, who stood by my side all these years and created the utterly amazing and flexible RSVP site that we use today.

Omer Algar, who joined up with me first as my CTO in November of 1998 and stayed with me (now as my COO), believing in the vision, ever since. You are steadfast and true and I adore you.

Victoria Rowan, for bringing us her unquenchable verve and for running the first classes for us, which we eventually developed into a full-scale Education Department.

Darby Saxbe, Alita Edgar, Marc Ozawa, David Gould and the rest of the Startup Mediabistro.com team. Especially David Gould, for always being the voice of wisdom and reason, but only within reason, and our resident sagely class clown.

Adrian LeBlanc -- for numerous late-night work-sessions, everyday hand-holding and for brainstorming the name mediabistro.com. (I said "MediaSalon?" and she bested me with 'bistro. I am ever indebted.)

Taffy Akner and Carmen Scheidel, for pushing the company to expand the Education Department beyond all of our wildest dreams.

Kyle Crafton, our former CFO, for running the ship always with a steady hand and a keen strategic eye, and permitting me for the first time in my working life not to work scared.

Thanks to the THOUSANDS of HireMinds.com lovers who tried to help me save that domain name when it was threatened.

Carl Oppedahl, my ever-patient Trademark attorney.

John Flock, my lawyer at IP firm Kenyon & Kenyon, and my total savior when we were sued for the HireMinds.com domain name in 1999. He represented me pro bono and helped me successfully transition from HireMinds.com to the much improved mediabistro.com

Wayne Martino, of Brenner, Salzman and Wallman, our corporate lawyer, who has been with me through every crazy spin-cycle of this business, from pre-funding 1998 to today's sale. Wayne thought of every angle, considered every possible permutation of every deal. I am ever indebted to you, Wayne.

Bill Conneely, our resident gentle mental giant and Job Board Director, who taught mama a new impressive buzz-word: Montecarlo Analyses.

To ALL my current Staffers, who kick butt and super-size their achievements every single day.

To ALL of my bloggers, present and past. Your daily slogging through those media stories, and breaking news on your own, have made the blogs a must-read, and some have even become a must-must-read.

To ALL of my current and former mb Party Hosts and Hostesses, volunteers, volunteer photogs and others who have contributed in countless ways, a huge thank-you and hugs all around.

Nicholas Guido Denton, for always making more of my boa antics than they ever deserved.

Thanks to the 1 million plus media people who LOVE the 'bistro, who come to our parties, who write me notes of adoration and hate mail and generally stay engaged with what we are doing. We are doing this FOR you and we are so happy to be serving the media community.

Finally, to my husband Jon Fine. This is going to sound so banal, but as you well know, words can never really express feelings. Thank you so much for always being there, for always getting me and for being bigger than I could ever dream of being. I learn from you each and every day.

I'm sure there are so many other people who I am forgetting in my excitement at this early hour. Please forgive my haste in signing off before you have been properly acknowledged.

Love,

Laurel

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