The city magazine that has defined Seattle’s gestalt for decades, Seattle magazine, is being purchased by businessman, philanthropist and author Jonathan Sposato, who plans to invest heavily in the publication with the goal of making it the voice of Seattle’s future.
Sposato has the media chops and entrepreneurial track record to pull it off as well. He is the co-founder and chairman of the successful technology news site GeekWire and of photo-editing platform PicMonkey. Sposato also is an angel investor who has committed to only investing in companies with a female co-founder or chief executive, and he also is the author of the 2017 bestseller on gender equity called “Better Together: 8 Ways Working with Women Leads to Extraordinary Products and Profits.”
Sposato says he plans to add “multiple new hires immediately” and also will invest in the magazine to scale up its digital operations. Sposato is acquiring Seattle magazine from current owner Minneapolis-based Tiger Oak Media. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“All the great ideas from Seattle end up influencing the rest of the world, and it’s time we defined ourselves with more swagger as the world class city we’ve become,” Sposato says. “Seattle magazine will become the richest source of untold and provocative stories that shape this incredibly diverse and culturally rich city.”
Seattle magazine can trace its roots back to 1966, when Harriett Bullitt, daughter of King Broadcasting founder Dorothy Bullitt, launched a 10-page regional science journal that eventually morphed into Seattle magazine. In 1999, it was purchased by Tiger Oak, which also owns more than two dozen bridal, lifestyle, and meetings and events magazines as well as Seattle Business magazine.
“I was raised here and watched Seattle transform from a city known for sasquatch, Bruce Lee, coffee and airplanes, into a world-class metropolis on par with other iconic destinations across the globe,” Sposato says. “Not only are we home to the most valuable technology companies in the world, this city has also given birth to the most famous musicians, performing artists, business leaders, athletes, and of course Oprah’s favorite Mac “N” Cheese. Seattle is not dying, it’s thriving.”
Sposato’s acquisition of Seattle magazine is slated to close soon, with the first issue under his ownership expected to hit newsstands and appear online this spring.