On Tuesday, Condé Nast announced its takeover of music site Pitchfork Media, effective immediately. Reportedly spearheaded by chief digital officer Fred Santarpia, the acquisition provides the company with a dedicated music vertical and an influx of young readers.
In an e-mail exchange with Folio:, Pitchfork Media president Chris Kaskie provided some further insight into the deal itself, the future of Pitchfork Media, its staff and The Pitchfork Review, and what it all means for both Pitchfork and Condé Nast.
Folio: Was Pitchfork actively looking to be acquired?
Chris Kaskie: While the conversations with Condé Nast arose somewhat organically, we had been actively investigating our options as it related to investment or acquisition. An acquisition was always a longer shot in this regard, considering how difficult we felt it would be to find a company that understands who and what Pitchfork is, but as our conversations continued along with CN, it was clear that so much of what we would be looking for could be accomplished within the constructs of this opportunity.
Folio: Will the management and staff of Pitchfork be staying on after the transition?
Kaskie: [Founder/CEO] Ryan Schreiber and I will be sticking around post-sale, working directly with Fred Santarpia and his team. Our entire staff will remain with us as well, post-transition.
Folio: What about The Pitchfork Review? Will that continue, as well?
Kaskie: The Pitchfork Review will continue to be published, and we are very excited about the various opportunities that could exist (as well as all we'll be able to learn) that'll come from being alongside a company that has a such an intense history with print.
Folio: On the surface, this acquisition looks like Condé Nast is targeting the millennial demographic. Was that a major factor that attracted them to Pitchfork? What other benefits does Condé Nast see in the deal?
Kaskie: Our audience is only a piece of what Pitchfork is bringing into Condé Nast. We are a destination for music fans, period, and through this acquisition we will be able to expand upon all that we do, whether editorial, video, festivals, or otherwise. More than anything, what Condé Nast cares about, and has a history with, is building independent, strong, respected editorial brands. They see in Pitchfork what they do in their existing brands, which beyond being an honor for us, is really where things start and end in terms of why this made sense. How things have gone for us to date, and what we all agree our potential could be, is really what made this all click.