The publication will continue to produce its famous scorecards of the rich and powerful, but without the backing of U2′s Bono. A new entity, called Integrated Whale Media Investments, just bought a majority stake in Forbes Media — including the preferred shares owned by Elevation Partners, the private equity firm the singer co-founded. The new ownership group pledges to “provide capital, as well as financial and operational expertise, and intends to leverage its international relationships to strategically enlarge Forbes Media’s reach on a global scale,” it says this morning.
Forbes Media Chairman Steve Forbes hung out the for-sale sign late last year, seeking at least $400M. Today’s announcement does not disclose terms of the deal, but The New York Times reports that “a person close to the deal” says the purchase valued Forbes Media at $475M.
Elevation paid $264M in 2006 for its minority interest. The Forbes family will “retain a significant ownership stake, will stay actively involved,” the announcement says.
Steve Forbes calls the transaction “a major milestone for the company and our family.” The new owners “support our longstanding mission of championing entrepreneurship and free market capitalism.”
UPDATED, 3:05 PM: Forbes wasn’t alone in the sights of hackers this past week. Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter today confirmed that a hacking attack occurred on their system on Wednesday exposing the data of Kickstarter users, although “No credit card data of any kind was accessed by hackers,” said Kickstarter. The security breach affected user email addresses.
PREVIOUSLY: Forbes‘ online site was hit in a “digital attack” yesterday that compromised the publication’s publishing platform and may have exposed sensitive user information including email addresses and passwords. “The passwords were encrypted, but as a precaution, we strongly encourage Forbes readers and contributors to change their passwords on our system, and encourage them to change them on other websites if they use the same password elsewhere. We have notified law enforcement. We take this matter very seriously and apologize to the members of our community for this breach,” Forbes acknowledged Friday.
Related: Financial Times, NYT Hit By Hackers
That’s what the struggling Internet search and content company hopes to accomplish as it unveils today what it calls “the first stage of an ambitious yearlong program” to build on its partnership with ABC News and cover 2012 campaign issues — and especially the presidential horse race. The effort includes a “TV-quality web show” called Remake America that will launch in January and track how eight families perceive the unfolding national debate. (People who want to be considered for the show can apply here.) Yahoo also plans to create social networks for groups such as mothers and young voters who want to discuss common interests. The Internet company has beefed up its political reporting and analysis staff under Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian, who used to oversee political coverage at ABC and the PBS NewsHour. In addition to its original content, the company will tap reporting and analysis from The Atlantic, The Blaze, FactCheck.org, Forbes, National Journal, Reuters, and This Week. Yahoo promises “deep integration” with ABC News, including lots of newsmaker interviews based on questions solicited from Yahoo users. But the most intriguing — and potentially scary — change is the planned launch of a blog called The Signal. Yahoo says it will use its “planet-scale cloud technology and research resources” to “capture the national mood and project what is likely to happen” in the campaign with “up-to-the minute predictions, sentiment, games, and commentary.”
Forbes has come out with its annual list of the highest-paid men in entertainment. Tyler Perry leads the pack this year with $130 million earned between May 2010 and May 2011, with five movies and two TV series to his credit over a two-year period. Here’s the Top 5: Perry, Jerry Bruckheimer ($113 million), Steven Spielberg ($107 million), Elton John ($100 million) and Simon Cowell ($90 million).