Outbrain has now raised a total of $99 million after tacking on another reported $35 million this week. The content recommendation company is said to be targeting a valuation of $1 billion, and will look to raise $100-300 million in order to roll out its IPO.Of course right now everything is speculative, and despite the flurry of investments into Outbrain, no statement has been issued regarding a possible IPO, new product launch or acquisition. The company has only stated that its investment rounds are nothing more than fundraising opportunities. What exactly they are fundraising for remains a mystery.Outbrain’s product is innocuously positioned at the bottom of content pages, and offers readers links to similar content. The company reports that the product has been installed on more than 100,000 sites, including a network of 700 “premium publishers.” Also, the company says that it offers up more than 100 billion recommendations each month.
Paul CroughtonPaul Croughton was tapped as Robb Report’s next editor-in-chief, bringing two decades of editorial experience to the luxury brand. Most recently, Croughton served as founding editor of Robb Report UK where he provided the editorial vision behind the brand’s inaugural European edition.In his new role, Croughton will oversee all editorial operations for the brand’s U.S. print and digital editions. He joined Penske Media Corporation, parent company of Robb Report, from creative and digital agency Brave New World, where he served as a partner and editor, and prior to that started his career as a journalist specializing in luxury travel and men’s style.“We’re energized and excited by Paul’s fresh perspective as well as his unwavering commitment to best-in-class storytelling and content creation,” says Jay Penske, chairman and CEO of Penske Media Corporation. “Paul’s superior understanding of the media landscape’s continuous evolution, coupled with his personal assurance to not only maintain but grow Robb Report’s ownership of the luxury media space, will propel this iconic brand into our next 30 years.” Here are the rest of this week’s people on the move… Advance announced this week that Oren Klein, VP finance and controller, will succeed current CFO, Tom Summer, effective October 1 of this year. Summer, who initially planned on retiring, instead plans on remaining with the company full-time until the end of the year, and then assume a senior advisor position after that. Klein, who has been in his VP role since 2008, was selected to take over for Summer due to his “strategic perspective and business acumen,” according to Steve Newhouse, co-president of Advance, which he says has added great value to the company. Kalmbach Media tapped Christine Metcalf as its newest VP, finance. Metcalf joins the company from Rexnord Corporation where she served in a similar capacity as its VP of finance for the process motion and control division. Prior to this role, Metcalf also held senior finance positions with Johnson Controls, Newell Rubbermaid and S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.“She has an outstanding track record driving strong financial results and an unmatched enthusiasm for our brands,” says Dan Hickey, CEO, Kalmbach Media. “She will play a pivotal role in Kalmbach’s growth as we continue to invest in the future of our company.”The Forward made two additions to its staff this week in an effort to continue its digital growth. Jay Ehrlich was tapped as VP of product and engagement for the brand, coming from Valassis where he served as VP of product, responsible for creating new omnichannel products across the company’s core coupon offerings. In his new role, Ehrlich will lead the charge on increasing subscriptions to the Forward.Ben Fractenberg is joining the Forward’s editorial team as a staff writer, where he will spearhead the creation of visual articles for the brand’s site. He will also rely on his background of New York City political reporting to assist in the development of new articles. Most recently, Fractenberg served as a reporter, photojournalist and videographer at DNAInfo.JEGI has made two changes to its Leadership team including the appointment of Adam Gross, former chief marketing officer, to managing director, where he will solely focus his efforts on the deal execution side of the company. Gross has been with JEGI for nearly two decades and also serves as a board member of Ventana, a holographic technology company, and SIIA’s Connectiv division.David Clark, who has held the role of managing director at JEGI since joining the company in 2005, is taking on the role of chief marketing officer, where he will “help guide the firm’s business development and thought leadership initiatives,” according to Wilma Jordan, CEO of JEGI. Prior to working at JEGI, Clark was a managing director at Deloitte & Touche Corporate Finance, and a senior member of Deloitte’s global TMT industry consulting practice.Vox Media tapped Meridith Webster as its first chief communications officer, where she will oversee external and internal communications, corporate marketing and public affairs, and will report directly to CEO Jim Bankoff. Prior to this hire, Webster was at Emerson Collective where she led its public affairs practice, focusing on high profile advocacy campaigns and creating powerful storytelling tools.Entertainment Weekly alumna, Sara Vilkomerson, is leaving her post as a senior writer to take on the position of segment producer at “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”Rolling Stone tapped Mother Jones’ Andy Kroll as its next Washington bureau chief.Christian Datoc is joining the Washington Examiner as its night news editor from his position at the Daily Caller as the breaking news editor.Task & Purpose’s former features editor, Aaron Gell, is joining Medium as a contributing editor. Prior to Task & Purpose, Gell served as EIC of the New York Observer and has held editor roles with Business Insider and Maxim. Former freelance journalist for Bustle, The Intercept and Popsugar, Lucy Westcott, is stepping into the roll of James W. Foley fellow at the Committee to Protect Journalists.Max Chafkin was promoted to features editor of Bloomberg Businessweek.Jean Ellen Cowgill is heading to Bloomberg as general manager of TicToc from her role as president of Atlantic 57.Quartz promoted Mike Murphy to deputy tech editor and has tapped Daniel Wolfe as a reporter on the Things team.
You might get fined in New York for texting if this bill becomes law. Christian Vierig / Getty Images No matter how important your text might be, if you’re crossing the street, New York thinks it can wait. New York state Sen. John Liu introduced a bill last week that would ban texting while walking. Pedestrians could be fined between $25 and $250 if they’re seen “using any portable device” while crossing a roadway, according to a copy of the bill obtained by The Guardian. “Using” a device means looking at it, playing games, being online, sending emails, texting and more, according to the bill. The legislation makes exceptions for emergency first-responders and those trying to contact hospitals, fire departments, police and other emergency services.”This bill in no way absolves drivers of their mandate to yield to pedestrians, and simply reminds people to resume texting after getting across the street safely,” Liu said in an emailed statement. Marco Conner, interim executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said he is opposed to the bill. “We should first identify the problem and the cause,” Conner said.Conner said that Liu fails to cite data that pedestrians are the ones causing their own injuries or deaths by walking into traffic while distracted. Instead, Conner said a recent rise in pedestrian fatalities nationwide “is believed to all be driver related.”In terms of solutions, Conner said he doesn’t see more regulation of phones as the answer. Conner said reducing vehicle speeds and reducing the number of vehicles on the streets should be priorities instead. Tags 3 Comments Share your voice Mobile
Employees of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) cut a cake outside the building to celebrate the Sensex index rising to over 30,000, in Mumbai in this April 26, 2017 file photo. REUTERS/Shailesh AndradeTen years after the fall of Lehmann Brothers triggered the great crisis of 2008, the world is edging closer to another bout of financial turmoil, according to researchers at JPMorgan.The crisis prediction model created by the bank predicts that the next big financial crisis will erupt in 2020 and that its severity will be less than that of the 2008 crisis.The hallmarks of such an economic plunge will be a great liquidity crisis, a significant rout in US and emerging markets and a softening of the energy prices, the analysts said, according to Bloomberg.The following are the key predictions:US stock markers could see a 20 percent declineGlobal energy prices could slide as much as 35 percentBase metal prices are likely to soften up to 29 percentEmerging market stock markets could see a rout that will wipe off up to 48 percent in value.The researchers wrote that the next great liquidity crisis will be caused by the big shift away from actively managed investing and the focus on index funds, exchange-traded funds and quantitative-based trading strategies.”The shift from active to passive asset management, and specifically the decline of active value investors, reduces the ability of the market to prevent and recover from large drawdowns,” Joyce Chang and Jan Loeys wrote in the note.For India, the projected fall in energy prices could be a silver lining amid the gloom of the next meltdown. However, on the downside, the easing fuel woes could be offset by a potential bloodbath in the markets. Dow Jones blood bath sees biggest day drop in more than 6 years Close After the subprime mortgage meltdown in the US triggered an expansive global crisis ten years ago, central banks around the world launched long-running accommodative fiscal policies and governments delved into financial market reforms. But there are economists who believe that the reforms haven’t been able to completely shut off the chances of a repeat of the crisis while the fallout from the expansionary monetary policies have posed a fresh threat.Raghuram Rajan, former RBI governor who had predicted the 2008 crisis, recently said he is one who sees that risk clearly.The post-crisis reforms did not address central banks’ role in creating asset bubbles through accommodative monetary policy, and this could be financial markets’ biggest long-term challenge, Rajan told Howard Gold in an interview.Former British prime minister Gordon Brown said on Wednesday the world was sleepwalking into the next financial crisis. He also warned that the impact of the next crisis will be severe in a “leaderless” world.”We are in danger of sleepwalking into a future crisis … There is going to have to be a severe awakening to the escalation of risks, but we are in a leaderless world.”
Italy’s Minerva Pictures is launching an SVOD channel dedicated to Italian cinema for the North American market using the Amazon Prime Video Direct program, in a move that breaks new ground and could provide an additional revenue stream for the Italian film industry.After successfully launching a U.S. outpost called RaroVideo, Minerva Pictures is set to launch the streaming service, MovieItaly, in October in the U.S. and Canada. The Rome-based company boasts a vast vintage Italian cinema library with works ranging from Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Conformist” to horror master Mario Bava’s movies,MovieItaly will use Amazon’s self-publishing service, which enables rights-holders to reach an audience by creating a channel on the Amazon Prime Video platform on a revenue-sharing basis. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Prime Video Direct has been used to launch niche movie channels by U.S. indies such as Samuel Goldwyn Films and by South Korea’s leading studio, CJ Entertainment. Minerva chief Gianluca Curti said his company will be the “first Europeans to launch an SVOD channel dedicated to a national cinematography in the North American market,” on Amazon’s platform or anywhere.Minerva Pictures will actually be the first continental Europeans to do so, since Prime Video customers in the U.S. can already stream English-language content from BritBox which was created by the BBC and Itv and features British content.MovieItaly will kick off in October with 100 mostly vintage titles mostly drawn from RaroVideo’s vault of classic, cult and horror films, spaghetti Westerns and experimental Italian movies. The service will add at least 10 new titles each month and will also feature extras and an Italian talent introducing a movie-of-the-month.After launching the service in North America, Minerva hopes to expand to the U.K. by year’s end. “We will be catering to Italian cinema cinephiles who love art movies but also to second- and third-generation Italians [in the U.S.] who have a craving for genre, comedies and more lowbrow popular cinema,” Curti said.He added that Minerva is in the process of closing non-exclusive SVOD deals with Italian cinema rights-holders in Italy and the U.S. to bring in more recent Italian feature films and documentaries.To promote MovieItaly in the U.S., Minerva is planning to organize presentations and monthly screenings of Italian movies in a still-unspecified New York venue.
Advertisement Mobile phones are the most common way of accessing the internet anywhere in the world today, according to a new report released by the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.ITU forecasts that the total number of mobile broadband subscriptions will reach 3.6 billion by end 2016, while almost half of all mobile subscriptions are already broadband enabled.Broadband-enabled smartphones are increasingly popular in wealthy countries because of their convenience; in developing countries, chronic lack of fixed telecommunications infrastructure makes mobile more a platform of necessity, rather than choice. – Advertisement – The smartphone market has reached 90% penetration in the saturated markets of North America and Europe and in mature markets in Asia-Pacific, leaving little room for future growth. But emerging markets will see robust shipment growth, with India and Indonesia, in particular, driving growth over the next few years. Already in early 2016, India overtook the United States as the second largest market in the world for smartphones (with over 260 million).The UN Broadband Commission also reports that an estimated 165 countries have now deployed 4G (mobile broadband) networks. Europe is home to around 30% of all 4G networks deployed worldwide. In Europe (and elsewhere), operators have started shutting down 2G and/or 3G networks – indeed, it is looking increasingly likely that 3G networks might be shut down before 2G network elements are fully decommissioned.The report further suggests that this increase in connections and devices is accompanied by a similar increase in adoption of registered users in online services. The milestone of one billion WhatsApp users was passed earlier this year, Google reached one billion Gmail monthly active users at end 2015, and Facebook reports 1.13 billion daily active users on average by mid-2016, of which 91% access Facebook via mobile. Some 84.5% of these daily active users reside outside the US and Canada.Credit: ITU, UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development