Scripps Buys Podcaster Midroll

Sees opportunity in reaching the relatively affluent podcast user base
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The E.W. Scripps Company has acquired Midroll Media, which is a major player in the podcast space and operates a major podcast sponsorship network that helps monetize more than 200 shows, including “StartUp” and “Nerdist.”

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“Podcasting has emerged from the relentless evolution of the media marketplace as one of the best new platforms to build organically growing audiences and revenue streams,” said Rich Boehne, chairman, president and CEO of Scripps in a statement. “In the Midroll team and shows, we found creative content and business strategies that already have helped define the importance of podcasting, and with strong growth still to come. Midroll and Scripps also share a commitment to journalism and nonfiction storytelling that informs and enlightens as well as entertains.”

In separate statement, Adam Symson, Scripps chief digital officer added that Midroll would help them adapt to the changing use of media on mobile devices and that “Midroll’s leadership in the growth of podcasting, both as a content platform and as a business, made the company very attractive to us.”

In announcing the deal, Scripps noted that more than 46 million Americans download at least one podcast a month, according Edison Research, and that those users tended to be more educated and have higher incomes than the general population.

Midroll Media CEO Adam Sachs and the rest of Midroll’s management team will remain at the company, including the company’s two co-founders, comedian/TV personality Scott Aukerman and entrepreneur Jeff Ullrich.

"We’ve accomplished so much as a bootstrapped company, more than anyone could have predicted, and our entire team should have great pride in that," said Ullrich in a statement. "Now the focus is on the future, and with the massive opportunity I see for the industry in general and Midroll specifically, becoming part of Scripps enables Midroll to accelerate growth and extend its leadership position."