Media Moves

The people behind the International Business Times

August 8, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

David Whitford of Fortune writes about Etienne Uzac and Johnathan Davis, the two founders of the International Business Times who bought Newsweek magazine earlier this week.

Whitford writes, “His partner and IBT’s chief content officer is Johnathan Davis, a 31-year-old American who studied computer engineering as an undergraduate at UCLA and did time in Silicon Valley. (Davis is more popular: He has 77 followers, but he quit tweeting a year ago.) Together they launched what became IBT Media in 2006, with personal savings, a SBA bank loan, and no input, financial or advisory, from VCs. They say they’ve been profitable since 2010. Headquarters are in New York, with offices in Bangalore, Shanghai, and Sidney. Total editorial employees: about 150.

“Some reports have tied Uzac and Davis, personally and financially, to David Jang, founder of San Francisco-based Olivet University. Jang is a controversial figure. He may or may not believe that he’s the second coming of Christ, according to an investigation by the evangelical magazine Christianity Today, but apparently many of his followers are convinced that he is.

“Uzac and Davis take pains to distance themselves from Jang. They deny that anyone other than themselves has ever held equity in IBT Media. Both acknowledge through their spokesperson at Edelman that they have ties to Olivet University but that they’ve always been ‘informal and unpaid … IBT Media’s editorial is 100% independent and adheres to the highest quality of conduct.’

“In a recent interview with his own IBTimes.com, Uzac said he ‘hopes the site will become a global answer to the ‘established business media’ in New York and London.’  That would be business broadly defined, with an eye for sparkly headlines that generate traffic. There is original reporting, like Tuesday morning’s lead story on CVS’s ‘seriously good second quarter.’ And a lot of HuffPost-style pick-ups from other news organizations, including some where the business angle is not obvious.”

Read more here.

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