The media companies owned by tech billionaires and why it matters

Tamlin Magee
Tamlin Magee

Tamlin Magee

Tamlin is online editor at Techworld and ComputerworldUK. He has previously covered a wide range of beats at a variety of publications, from European channel markets, enterprise cloud and privacy to architecture, design, film and music. He is particularly interested in the intersection between technology, the political sphere and the day-to-day.

Share

Salesforce cofounder Marc Benioff is just the latest super-rich technology executive to add a news publication to their personal portfolio, picking up the iconic Time magazine in a $190 million dollar deal.

The last decade has seen the news business change drastically, with digital upstarts like Buzzfeed, Business Insider and Vice growing thanks to massive cash injections from venture capital firms and established titles having to drastically rearchitect themselves to survive in the digital arena.

In this new world many revered titles have found themselves being targeted by rich Silicon Valley executives, sometimes with the worst of intentions (see: Gawker, Peter Thiel) and other times under the guise of the best of intentions (see: Washington Post, Jeff Bezos). Often these bought-out publications insist that they will maintain a fiercely independent line from their new Silicon Valley stakeholders.

Whatever you might think it says about the state of the media today, it seems that the trend of billionaire tech entrepreneurs wanting to play publisher is only just beginning, here are some of the highest profile examples so far.

Share