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The Weeknd expands Business Portfolio with latest Esports Investment

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George Pimentel/Getty Images

The Weeknd has joined forces with esports under the OverActive Media group umbrella, which owns the Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League.

The Toronto pop star reportedly now owns a stake in the group of investors including Michael Kimel, part-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and tech entrepreneur Sheldon Pollock. The Weeknd will also serve as global ambassador for the Canadian company.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming a global superstar like Abel to our investor family,” OverActive Media president and CEO Chris Overholt said in a statement Wednesday. “Abel’s standing in the music industry will provide our Toronto Defiant and Splyce brands the opportunity to reach more fans and engage new audiences.”

“As a big esports fan, I am really excited to be involved in this project,” The Weeknd said in a statement. “I am looking forward to collaborating with OverActive Media in unique and innovative ways.”

The sporting giant also owns teams in the League of Legends European Championship, Call of Duty World League, Rocket League, StarCraft, and Smite.

OverActive strongly believes the singer will become an integral part of the brand’s overall elevation in the near future.

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Wayfair Workers protest Migrant Detention

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(Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Wayfair employees boycotted their corporate jobs on Wednesday to protest the furniture giant’s decision to sell beds to a migrant detention center located at the Southern border. The protest revolt has since then garnered national attention from outlets across the country and attended by dozens of supporters, holding signs reading “NO WAY” and “abolish ICE.”

“We’ve had many conversations with the leaders back and forth,” Wayfair employee Madeline Howard said to The Washington Post. “We really do want to reach some kind of agreement with them, but they’re just not hearing what we’re saying.”

According to Chris Allieri, the founder and principal of Mulberry & Astor, a public relations firm specializing in crisis management.

“At the end of the day, as a corporation, you have to look at your employees,” Allieri added to the outlet. “Their viewpoint matters, and I think we’re going to see it matter even more.”

“That used to be the way, right?” he continued. “Now companies need to look at their audiences. And I think, for too long, the audience of the employees — it was just not considered.”

“[Wayfair] isn’t the first company that’s done business with the federal government, or ICE or Immigration and Naturalization Services,” Allieri quipped. “But this company is a consumer-facing company. It’s the happy pillow brand, right?”

Consumer-facing brands — companies that interact with the public on a regular basis — are more likely to be subject to the will of their employees, Allieri said. That means they need to get better at listening to the people who work for them, but will they?

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Future Media Group acquires W Magazine; Stephano Tonchi exits

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Photo credit: Trevor Smith (Stefano Tonchi)

Future Media Group has reportedly acquired W magazine from Condé Nast. The acquisition will add W with Surface and Watch Journal to form Future Media Group. According to the press release, W will continue publish eight print issues annually while also expanding the brand’s digital and experiential footprint.

W has always been an extraordinary and visionary arbiter of style. For over 45 years, its pages have been filled with indelible imagery and exciting journalism,” said Marc Lotenberg, CEO of Future Media Group. “We look forward to honoring and building on that legacy. We know that W will serve as a perfect complement to the publications already in our portfolio.”

Continuing W‘s commitment to creativity and groundbreaking content is vital to its evolution. To that end, Future Media Group announced Sara Moonves will be the magazine’s new editor-in-chief. Moonves, who previously worked at Vogue and at T:The New York Times Style Magazine, joined the staff of W as Style Director in 2017.

“Sara has impeccable taste and a keen eye for how a media brand should evolve in today’s fast-paced media landscape,” said Lotenberg. “She has enormous credibility in the fashion community, not to mention a forward-thinking sensibility that will bring W beyond its core print distribution into various offline, online and augmented formats.”

Moonves will also be the first female editor-in-chief at W since the magazine’s creation 47 years ago as a biweekly broadsheet spin-off of the fashion newspaper Women’s Wear Daily.

“I am excited to be a part of the future of W, an iconic brand that has always inspired me,” said Moonves. “W is W because of our amazing contributors, and I look forward to continuing to work with them in my new role. It is an honor to be able to guide this brand into its promising future.”

Future Media Group will operate W offices in Paris, Milan and New York, as well as a soon-to-be established bureau in Los Angeles.

Following a transitional period during which Condé Nast will provide support services, the W, Surface and Watch Journal teams will converge into a new office to work collaboratively across all departments. Amber Estabrook, W‘s VP of Revenue, will become the chief revenue officer of Future Media Group and lead the various brands in its portfolio. Joining Estabrook will be Lynn Hirschberg, the magazine’s editor-at-large and over 30 other dedicated and passionate current employees.

“Future Media Group will be differentiated by our innovative network which allows our advertising partners to achieve brand accelerations on a global scale,” said Estabrook. “Merging our talent under the Future Media Group umbrella provides us with an unmatched depth of experience within the cultural sector and the worlds of luxury and design.”

W was purchased by Condé Nast from The Walt Disney Company in 1999. Since its early days, the publication has celebrated the worlds of fashion, art, philanthropy and culture through stunning visual storytelling, exquisite artistry, bold photography and cutting-edge design.

Source: PR Newswire

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Yellowstone Season Two Premiere draws 5M Viewers, making it Cable’s most-watched original Telecast this Summer

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Courtesy of Paramount

With updated viewing numbers, the season two premiere of Paramount Network’s hit series Yellowstone continues to break records, reaching record-high ratings across all key demos. With more than 5 million total viewers tuning in, Yellowstone is the most-watched premiere in the history of the brand –– covering both Paramount Network and Spike TV.

Against the competitive landscape, Yellowstone ranks as the most-watched original cable telecast this summer and the highest-rated original cable telecast of the summer, excluding sports and news.

Paramount Network reportedly ordered a 10-episode third season of the series. Yellowstone stars world-renowned actor and Oscar winner Kevin Costner as John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. Yellowstone is co-created by critically-acclaimed, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Wind River, Hell or High Water and Sicario), and John Linson.

The impressive cast list for Yellowstone also includes Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Brecken Merrill, Jefferson White, Danny Huston, and Gil Birmingham. Neal McDonough joined the cast for season two.

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