Vox Media to Buy Re/code, Bulking Up Its Portfolio of Sites

Recode's Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg to Stay On

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Vox Media has acquired tech-news site Re/code, the companies announced Tuesday.

Re/code co-founders Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg will stay on. A sale price was not disclosed.

"This combination will give us access to the new tools and talent we need and want to make Re/code stronger and better," Ms. Swisher said in a statement.

Re/code was founded in 2007 as All Things Digital (or AllThingsD as it was known), which was first a tech conference and part of The Wall Street Journal. In 2013, the site and conference split from the Journal and went on to create Re/code, with backing from NBC Universal Group. Re/code continues to host live events, which generate much of the company's revenue.

The 44 full-time employees at Re/code are expected to join Vox, according to The New York Times.

Re/code offers Vox a highly respected tech news site that adds diversity to a publishing portfolio that includes sports blog network SB Nation, news-explainer Vox.com and food site Eater. And Vox gives Recode publishing tools that can improve the look-and-feel of the bloggy site's stories and an ad sales organization to sell brands on those stories at a premium.

Vox already has a tech news site called The Verge, but it has sought to grow into more of a culture site oriented around technology -- like a People magazine for people who grew up on the internet. Acquiring Re/code would seem to give The Verge more leeway to continue that expansion while Re/code handles the hard news side of tech.

"Bringing Re/code into the Vox Media fold means that The Verge can remain focused on being the best mainstream technology and lifestyle site in the world, and Re/code can dig even deeper into how the money and business of technology works," The Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel wrote on Tuesday. "Re/code will maintain its site and branding, but over time we'll work hard to find as many ways to work together as possible."

Re/code also brings Vox a new revenue stream through its successful conference series. Conferences have become an important revenue source for publishers who are competing with Google and Facebook for online ad dollars and may not be able to find enough readers willing to pay for their content. Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff told CNN in January 2014 that he was interested in opening up a live event revenue stream for its general-interest news site Vox.com, but has yet to coordinate any conferences.

Vox and Re/code appear to have a shared interest in video. Vox has bolstered its video division -- Facebook execs have lauded Vox.com's visualization-heavy videos in public talks -- and Re/code has parlayed its investor relationship with NBC Universal into "Code Forward," a weekly digital-only show hosted by Re/code staffers and produced with MSNBC.

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