The news got out on Newsy‘s brand of multi-source digital video journalism, as one of the industry’s biggest players, E.W. Scripps Company, has acquired the Columbia, Mo.-based startup for $35 million in cash.
“This acquisition fits our digital strategy to run a national news brand that both enhances our local content offerings and gives us more access to the fast-growing digital news audiences and revenues on national platforms,” said Rich Boehne, Scripps chairman, president and CEO, in a press release.
The media company, founded in 1879, has a national reach through 19 local television stations and daily newspapers in 13 markets, along with its own television programming and investigative reporting newsroom—it also produces everyone’s favorite annual event, the Scripps Spelling Bee. It gets a five-year-old startup that already curates and produces video content for entities such as AOL/Huffington Post, Microsoft and Mashable—available for web, mobile, tablet and connected TV.
Alexandra Wharton, VP of marketing and community, told Silicon Prairie News that the company first came to visit in early July and looked at other digital properties, but chose Newsy for “our quality,” “scrappiness” and “commitment to innovation.”
With the acquisition, Newsy will maintain its current operations—35 full-time employees will remain in Columbia and day-to-day workflow won’t be impacted—as it becomes a wholly owned subsidiary. The deal is expected to close January 1.
Newsy has partnered with the University of Missouri and its students to bring in talent through its journalism school and other backgrounds. The idea for the news outlet germinated in San Francisco, but soon after a round was raised, the team landed in Columbia.
Wharton said that’s been instrumental in getting the company to where it is today. She said Scripps wants to grow Newsy in Columbia and likes the partnership between the school and the company.
“Our story is another proof point that you don’t have to be on the coasts,” she said. “The talent’s here. We run the company at a fraction of the cost.”