Vox Media CEO hints at more media acquisitions after NY Mag deal

Jim Bankoff

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

CEO and Chairman of Vox Media Jim Bankoff suggested more media consolidation is coming after the company acquired New York Media, the parent company of New York Magazine, in an all-stock deal Tuesday.

The value of the deal was not disclosed and is expected to be completed later this fall.

“We’re going to look to be a smart acquirer. That means that we’re not going to buy things for the sake of buying things,” Bankoff told CNBC’s Squawk Alley Wednesday.

Vox Media will now own New York Media’s other popular digital brands, including The Cut, Intelligencer, Vulture, and Grub Street, among others. Vox Media already boasts a wide array of popular online brands itself, like its namesake Vox, The Verge, Recode, and Eater.

“But it’s not just us. I think you’re going to see that trend across the industry,” Bankoff said of the acquisition strategy. “I just hope it’s done for the right reasons. You see too many of these things done for financial engineering, and generally those are not the sustainable types of opportunities.”

The CEO pointed to the strength of New York Media’s online brands as a large source of the deal’s value, noting that they are the primary source of growth and revenue for the company.

Bankoff said there will not be layoffs as a result of the acquisition and that there will be no impact on New York Magazine’s current print circulation.

New York Media CEO Pam Wasserstein will become president of Vox Media, while Bankoff will retain his current role, according to the companies’ joint statement. Though their editorial networks will remain separate, the companies are expecting “exciting opportunities for collaboration” in a bid to form “the leading independent modern media company.”

That means focusing on the strength of Vox Media’s video content as the streaming wars for securing rights for popular shows heats up. Already partnering with Netflix and Disney-owned Hulu, Bankoff said he hopes to usher more of New York Media’s content to the digital video age as well.

CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode’s parent Vox Media. Recode and NBC have a content-sharing arrangement.