Laurene Powell Jobs, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist, is acquiring a majority stake in the Atlantic magazine.
Jobs, in a statement, called the Atlantic “one of the country's most important and enduring journalistic institutions,” and cited the links between her organization, the Emerson Collective, and the Atlantic’s founder, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who “created a magazine whose mission was to bring about equality for all people.”
David Bradley, who bought the Atlantic for $10 million almost two decades ago, will continue to own a minority stake and remain chairman for the next three years. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Peter Lattman, a former editor at the New York Times, has been appointed vice chairman of the Atlantic. He will also continue to work as the managing director of media at Emerson Collective.
Jobs, whose estimated worth exceeds $20 billion, has made media investments in the past, including a minority stake in Hollywood studio Anonymous Content as well as supporting nonprofit journalism organizations like the Marshall Project and ProPublica.
The news media has been a point of interest for Jobs. When asked at the Code Conference this May if she would ever consider buying something like the New York Times, Jobs responded, “Is it for sale?” She later added, “I do think it’s a national treasure that should be preserved.”
The Atlantic has over the past decade been trying to reform itself for the digital age. The 160-year-old publisher launched the Atlantic Wire, which posted short items and commentary online, in 2009, but was folded back into the site a few years later. (The Atlantic’s parent company, Atlantic Media, separately started the business site Quartz in 2012.)
Digital advertising now accounts for 80 percent of revenue and the company altogether attracts a monthly audience of 33 million and makes profit of “well above $10 million per year,” according to the statement.
You can watch Jobs’s full interview at Code 2017 here: