Blue-chip publisher Conde Nast, owner of Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Wired and fifteen other respected publications, has acquired the digital-native music publisher Pitchfork for an undisclosed sum. The news was first reported by the New York Times. Pitchfork staff will now report to Fred Santarpia, Conde Nast’s Chief Digital Officer and the lead behind the acquisition.
Pitchfork was founded in 1996 by Minnesota native Ryan Schreiber, who quickly relocated the nascent publication to Chicago. It now maintains offices in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Chicago and Paris. In addition to its website, which the company claims draws over 6 million unique visitors per month, Pitchfork produces music festivals in Chicago and Paris, maintains an online video division as well as a quarterly print publication launched in 2013, The Pitchfork Review.
Speaking to Ian Rogers for Billboard four years ago, WME head of music Marc Geiger spoke of the influence that a positive review from Pitchfork has on an artist’s career, saying that “when they gave a review over an eight to an artist, we’d get 40 calls to book them.”
“Pitchfork is a distinguished digital property that brings a strong editorial voice, an enthusiastic and young audience, a growing video platform and a thriving events business,” writes Conde Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg, in a statement. “We look forward to bringing Pitchfork to the network of best-in-class brands of Condé Nast.” Sauerberg was appointed CEO one month ago (Sept. 13), taking over for Charles H. Townsend, who assumed the role of chairman.
“Pitchfork is incredibly fortunate to have found in Condé Nast a team of people who share our commitment to editorial excellence,” says Schreiber. “Their belief in what we do, combined with their additional expertise and resources, will allow us to extend our coverage of the artists and stories that shape the music landscape on every platform. We’re honored to become part of their family.”