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Stephen Blackwell Goes 100% Digital As New SpinMedia CEO

Stephen-blackwellSomebody needs to do a SpinMedia infographic. These last couple of years have been pretty complicated. New CEO Stephen Blackwell says that SpinMedia is now "100 percent focused on digital" with no bone other than "respect" thrown at print. He also claims to have gotten the job by wandering the halls talking up his vision for SpinMedia. With +300% growth announced for Blackwell's Death and Taxes in 2014 prior to SpinMedia acquisition, perhaps his appointment as CEO isn't as serendipitous as he makes it sound.

On Friday Stephen Blackwell's appointment as SpinMedia CEO was officially announced:

"In his new role, Blackwell will be responsible for day-to-day operations, traffic, and revenue growth across multiple platforms including social, mobile, events and talent acquisition."

"Blackwell is the founder of the popular and critically acclaimed indie music and pop culture publication and website Death and Taxes, which SpinMedia acquired in July. In a sharp increase from 2013, Death and Taxes traffic grew +300% in the first half of 2014, with multiple months exceeding +1 million unique visitors (Source: comScore)."

SpinMedia acquired Stephen Blackwell's Death and Taxes a little over a month ago. He told Capital

“When I first got to Spin, and I started talking to everybody about, we’ve got an incredible brand here and a lot of opportunity for growth, I saw nothing but upside…I started expressing my vision on how we could help the brand grow, and that's kind of when the conversation started about, well how does the C.E.O. position look to you?”

Blackwell is the 4th CEO for SpinMedia in the last two years. While that doesn't look so good the company has gone from BuzzMedia acquiring Spin to its current assortment of properties as SpinMedia. If they're done acquiring things, they may be ready for a very different skillset.

And that skillset no longer includes print. Blackwell told Capital there are no current plans for new print products:

“We are 100 percent respectful of VIBE and SPIN’s incredible legacies as print properties. They had great readership, great audience competition, great reach…[But] we’re 100 percent focused on digital…we’re a digitally-focused company, and we’re really excited about that as our main growth area.”

Stephen Blackwell replaces Dale Strang who continues with SpinMedia as Chairman.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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