7/16 UPDATE: Despite today's Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Mediabistro reports, TSG is no longer among the Time Warner assets now being sought by Rupert Murdoch.
Forget Time Warner’s spinoff of Time Inc. or its reported interest in buying a nine-figure stake in Vice Media. While those are critical business developments, the multinational firm’s single most important recent transaction--as far as we’re concerned--was its agreement to sell The Smoking Gun to us, the trio that runs this news outfit.
In a deal valued at we’re-not-contractually-allowed-to-say, the web site is now owned by TSG Industries, a New York City-based corporation. Like Twitter, Google, Facebook, and other tech behemoths, the new firm anticipates soon employing a variety of tax avoidance strategies through its Isle of Man subsidiary (Dutch Sandwich, anyone?).
The TSG sale was struck with our beneficent former overlords at Turner Broadcasting. We planned on announcing the deal sooner, but got sidetracked by Al Sharpton, assorted in-flight disruptions, and that teenager who hid a loaded handgun in her vagina. Also, we had to move into our new space and transfer the site to servers at Acquia.
While TSG will, sadly, no longer be corporate stable mates with Nancy Grace and TMZ, Time Warner does stand to benefit from the site’s future financial success. So keep sending in those news tips and sharing our stories with your friends. Otherwise, the world’s second-largest media conglomerate’s $60 billion market cap could suffer.
Along with the site itself, assorted trademarks, web addresses, etc., TSG Industries also took control of another key asset: a cherished FBI rug that was salvaged/stolen from a bureau field office during a renovation 25 years ago. The rug, seen at left, was purchased/fenced via eBay and has graced every Time Warner office we have occupied (since the site was purchased by Court TV in 2000).
After many years cooping in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, TSG has relocated to an office on the SoHo/NoHo border. Where we once worked above a high-end mall filled with tourists and a Williams-Sonoma store, we now operate from a neighborhood filled with tourists and a Crate and Barrel store. We call that progress.
As TSG’s new proprietors we’ll be exploring strategic partnerships, content deals, advertising representation, new verticals, some horizontals, and all those other things we read about in the Times business section and Marc Andreessen’s Twitter stream. We’ll continue, of course, to publish our distinctive stories, documents, and mug shots.
To recap: We’re single and ready to mingle. So drop us a line if you have a question, suggestion, or proposal. And keep those tips coming in.
-Your pals at TSG