March 22, 2023
semafor jorge paulo lemann

The new news site that attracted Jorge Paulo Leman

Two American media veterans are creating a new global media outlet to try to take on industry giants – including The New York Times, BBC, Washington Post and CNN.

The outlet will be called Semaphore, and it was born from the head of two Smith members: Justin, the former CEO of Bloomberg Media, and Bean, the former editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed and former media columnist for the New York Times.

The duo just raised $25 million from investors like Jorge Paulo Lemann; Sam Bankman-Fried, crypto billionaire; John Thornton, A capital project Enthusiast of the non-profit media who founded the Texas Tribune; and David Bradley, former observer of The Atlantic.

Jorge Paulo invested in the project due to his previous relationship with Justin. The two met five years ago at events organized by Bloomberg in Asia.

Semaphore is meant to be read by “200 million highly educated people, who read in English, but nobody treats it like the public,” Ben said in a recent interview.

“Our big competitors, who dominate world news, arose in the 20th century,” Benn said. “They source news from London, Atlanta or New York.” “We are trying to build a model [de fazer notícia] Much more online and for a completely different time. “

Project Variation: Semafor’s first international editorial board will be dedicated to Africa, with a local team.

With this money, Semaphore has already employed 60 people (30 of them are journalists). The site is scheduled to launch in October.

The founders said that major global outlets end up focusing too much on their local readers and are no longer trusted by the public.

“There is a clear consumer dissatisfaction with the news business,” Benn said in a recent interview.

But how do you regain the trust of readers?

According to him, Semaphore will focus on getting the scoop and dividing her stories so that the reporter tells the facts in one section; In another, do your analysis. To combat criticism that the press is biased, Semaphore plans to publish a critical view of the person depicted in the article, and an opinion on the same topic from another region of the world.

startup ambition He was criticized … by the press.

The Financial Times noted that the New York Times – the gold standard for global journalism – had 1,700 journalists and more than $500 million in cash, even after acquiring sports website The Athletic. The BBC has an army of over 2,000 reporters around the world.

An industry analyst told the Financial Times that trying to be a global public medium with few journalists is difficult.

How would this editing room have responded if, on the third day after the launch, Putin had started a war in Europe? “The big news brands have huge advantages because they can get journalists there the next day,” the analyst said.

Al Smith chose to raise capital from individual investors (many of whom are already linked to the media) rather than venture capital funds to avoid the same kind of results-based fees charged by BuzzFeed and Vice Media — both funded by VCs.

With this, they hope that the contributors to the project will continue regardless of the overall environment and commercial difficulties at the outset.

Despite the innovative rhetoric, Semaphore will adopt the same business model prevalent in journalism: the startup plans to start with a free website and app, and generate revenue from advertising and events.

The plan is to charge a subscription fee after a year or two.


During the birth of a new broker, another struggles to find the right owner.

Forbes’ parent company, Integrated Whale Media, put the company up for sale after the deal with SPAC – which would have made the company public – ended up not going on.

According to NYT, Citigroup distributed an “offer note” with Forbes information to media companies, including Yahoo.

a evaluation Intended is US$630 million, the same deal with SPAC. Forbes made $200 million last year and made a profit of $40 million.

Pedro Arbex