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BGR parent company Penske Media expands entertainment portfolio with Indiewire buy

Penske Media Corporation, parent company of BGR Media LLC, on Tuesday announced that it is expanding its industry-leading portfolio of top entertainment properties with the acquisition of Founded in 1996, Indiewire has grown to become a well-known and respected as a leader in independent film and television news and reviews. The site will join other premier entertainment brands in PMC’s portfolio including Variety, Hollywood Life, Deadline Hollywood, and more.

The company’s full press release follows below.


NEW YORK, New York—January 19, 2016: Penske Media Corporation (PMC) has acquired, the critically acclaimed and foremost website for independent film and television, from SnagFilms, Inc. The purchase furthers Penske Media’s ascendancy in the entertainment content and news businesses, joining PMC’s leading entertainment brands that today include Variety Inc., Deadline Hollywood,, Hollywood Life, Gold Derby, Variety Insight, Bollywood Life, LA411, NY411, and Variety Latino (a joint venture with Univision).

“Indiewire has a rich history as one of the early innovators in digital media—and I’ve long admired the company and its team’s dedication to informing and breaking the most essential news in independent film,” said PMC Chairman and CEO Jay Penske. “Bringing Indiewire into the PMC organization is an exciting opportunity to further ignite a pioneering brand while advancing its coverage of the TV industry, digital, and emerging OTT platforms.”

Over the past two decades, has evolved into an iconic brand and must-read online destination, attracting a loyal following of filmmakers, industry leaders and fans of independently-produced movies and TV content. Under its eight-year ownership by SnagFilms Inc., Chairman Ted Leonsis and CEO Rick Allen and their team have continued to grow Indiewire’s reach and ascendance within the journalistic and creative communities.

“We are honored to have been Indiewire’s stewards, and seen it grow nearly 30-fold, since 2008. After careful consideration of the ingredients that could make the next eight years and beyond even more impactful, we determined that Penske Media would provide the optimum home for Indiewire,” said Allen. “Under Jay’s leadership, Indiewire will now join the most powerful properties in entertainment and culture; we could not be more excited about its future.”

Financial terms of the PMC acquisition from owner SnagFilms Inc. were not disclosed. Founded in 1996, Indiewire has been owned by SnagFilms Inc. since 2008.

Indiewire Editor-in-Chief Dana Harris said, “I couldn’t be prouder of our team and what we’ve continued to build on the Indiewire brand that Eugene Hernandez spearheaded nearly 20 years ago. The opportunities offered by PMC are extraordinary and will allow us to grow and expand our unparalleled coverage of the best in film, television, and more.”

Transaction Highlights:

  • The acquisition brings together two of the entertainment industry’s leading innovators in digital media and publishing.
  • The financial terms of the PMC acquisition of Indiewire from owner SnagFilms Inc. were not disclosed.
  • This transaction follows Penske Media’s purchase last year of Fairchild Media (WWD, FN, M, Beauty Inc.) from Condé Nast.
  • Editor-in-Chief Dana Harris will continue to lead the editorial operations of Indiewire and report to Jay Penske. Publisher James Israel will continue to lead sales + marketing while reporting to both Variety Publisher, Michelle Sobrino and Penske Media’s Executive Vice President of Strategy, George Grobar. And Indiewire’s New York operations will move into the PMC headquarters at 475 Fifth Avenue under management of deputy editor Eric Kohn.
  • Under Penske Media’s ownership, Indiewire will remain an independent, dominant voice covering independent film, TV, and emerging OTT platforms.
Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.