A new tech news and conference business from AllThingsD's founders Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg could be worth up to $40 million. And that's reeling it in some.
Quartz reported Friday that Swisher and Mossberge are in talks with three potential minority investors -- including Comcast's NBCUniversal, another media company and a financial investor funding -- for a stake that could value the new venture between $30 million and $40 million. The report says that valuation is much lower than figures sought in early talks.
Thursday, AllThingsD's longtime parent Dow Jones said Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher were leaving the AllThingsD brand with the News Corp. subsidiary, choosing not to renew their contract when it expires at the end of the year. The Wall Street Journal, which is also a Dow Jones property and the home to Mossberg's technology column for years, will be expanding its tech coverage and conference business, including plans to hire 20 news staff to cover digital news.
The Journal's tech reporting team has been in flux lately, with San Francisco reporter Jessica Lessin departing to start her own news publication and recruiting former Journal colleague Amir Efrati to join her.
Mossberg and Swisher also follow the likes of Nate Silver, who rose to prominence for data-based predictions of national elections with his FiveThirtyEight posts for the New York Times but cut ties with the paper to move to ESPN earlier this year. Their departures underscore the potential value of content creators who succeed in carving out a popular brand in the news world, which has struggled to come to grips with its readers and advertisers migrating away from print to online alternatives.