Vox Media is buying Cafe Studios, publisher of a popular podcast hosted by former Manhattan US attorney Preet Bharara.
Spun off from Some Spider in 2020, Cafe Studios was co-founded by Bharara and his brother, Vinit Bharara. It publishes a handful of podcasts, including “Stay Tuned With Preet,” Bharara’s current-events and pop-culture talk show; “Third Degree,” a legal-analysis show; and “Doing Justice,” a narrative podcast based on a book by Bharara of the same name.
Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Wall Street’s former top cop, who has been working with his brother at Cafe Studios since President Trump fired him in 2017, will join Vox Media as part of the deal, the company said via a press release said late Sunday. He will remain a host, co-founder and creative director of Cafe Studios, which will continue to exist as its own brand.
Bharara will report to Vox Media Studios President Marty Moe.
Reps for Vox Media, owner of New York Magazine and websites like Vox, The Verge and Eater, declined to comment on Monday. Cafe Studios also declined to comment on Monday.
The Wall Street Journal first reported news of the deal.
The Bharara brothers’ decision to sell Cafe Studios comes as the company is embroiled in a lawsuit in which a podcast producer accused Cafe of stiffing him out of more than $2 million. The case is still pending and the Bharara brothers have denied the allegations.
Vox Media chairman and CEO Jim Bankoff said the acquisition builds on his firm’s expanding audio business, which is home to shows like Recode’s “Land of the Giants,” “Chicano Squad” and Vox’s “Unexplainable.”
Cafe Studios is Vox Media’s latest major deal since 2019. At the time, Vox Media bought Epic, the film, television, audio and production studio, and it later merged with New York Media, publisher of New York Magazine and other digital sites, such as The Cut and Vulture in a stock deal.
Vox Media expects to turn a profit in 2021, according to a person familiar with the matter, and it still has cash in the bank from a $200 million funding round in 2015 that valued the company at more than $1 billion, the person said. Since then, Vox Media, like its rivals, has endured layoffs as the pandemic has taken a bite out of its advertising revenue.
Meanwhile, Vox Media is considering a variety of options including going public through a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. According to The Journal, the company was approached by a SPAC connected to Group Nine, the digital media company that owns brands like The Dodo and PopSugar, but it is unlikely to do a deal with the firm.
Instead Vox Media may be looking for another SPAC partner or to raise money in other ways as it looks to expand its company in areas like e-commerce, sports media, podcasting and streaming video.