AllThingsD's Walt Mossberg, Kara Swisher Close To NBCUniversal Deal
Two of the tech industry's most notable reporters could be close to a deal with Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) media and entertainment subsidiary.
AllThingsD editors Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher will leave their existing empire behind when their contracts with News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWS) expire at the end of December.
After that, AllThingsD (and its annual conference) will more or less cease to exist.
In September, Mossberg and Swisher released a statement about the forthcoming changes.
"…Starting Jan. 1, 2014, we will still be Web-siting and conference-producing and much more, albeit under a new corporate structure with new partners and investors," the duo wrote on September 19. "While we can't give any details yet -- and there are details -- you can assume that this new independent business will be laser-focused on continuing and extending Web journalism and conference journalism with the highest standards."
Mossberg and Swisher said that its new venture will provide them with "added resources" that will allow them to grow in "new and exciting ways." When their next site launches, they plan to hire more journalists and produce more videos than were previously possible with AllThingsD.
According to Bloomberg, Mossberg and Swisher will build their new site with the help of NBCUniversal. The veteran tech reporters are looking to strike a deal that will allow them to bring the AllThingsD staff with them, essentially creating a new version of the old website.
Under the guidance of Mossberg and Swisher, AllThingsD became a media giant that reportedly earned $14 million in annual sales and 5.5 million in profit.
Advertising accounted for $3 million to $4 million of those sales. The conference business made up the rest, thanks to prominent sponsors (such as Sony) and popular speakers (including Apple CEO Tim Cook) that justified the $5,500 ticket price.
Wherever they go, Mossberg and Swisher will surely try to replicate that success all over again with similar news coverage and a similar annual tech conference.
Bloomberg's sources claim that the new site is tentatively scheduled to be announced on January 2, 2014.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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