Scripps shells out $35 million to buy video news startup Newsy

By Cory Bergman 

In an effort to beef up its video and mobile efforts, Scripps has acquired Newsy for $35 million in cash — one of the largest tech acquisitions in the local media space in recent memory. Newsy produces video news reports across web, mobile and connected TV platforms for partners like AOL, Microsoft and Mashable. Many of the “mobile first” startup’s clips are focused on viral video, capitalizing on the growth of social sharing.

In a video announcement (embedded below), Newsy said it delivers over 100 million unique video views against 1,500 video clips every month. That’s about 50 clips a day produced by a company with 35 employees — video talent often writes, records and edits their own clips.


“Newsy adds an important dimension to our video news strategy,” explains Rich Boehne, Scripps Chairman/CEO. “This acquisition fits our digital strategy to run a national news brand that both enhances our local content offerings and gives us more access to the fast-growing digital news audiences and revenues on national platforms.”

The acquisition is a big one for Scripps and local media as whole, illustrating a growing urgency in the industry to generate scale with mobile video.

Scripps did not elaborate on how Newsy would be integrated with its local TV and newspaper properties, other than say it “will become an important news source on the Scripps digital products in local markets across the country.” Added Newsy Founder and CEO Jim Spencer, “Leveraging the power of Scripps and Newsy together means reaching more consumers with the quality journalism they expect on a larger variety of platforms.”

It also means a big-time payout for Newsy and its investors: the company had raised under $5 million since its debut in 2008, reported Techcrunch. The deal is scheduled to close on Jan. 1, and Newsy’s employees will remain in Columbia, MO.