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Life Magazine to be ”Revived” By Josh Kushner & Karlie Kloss

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Life Magazine to be ”Revived” By Josh Kushner & Karlie Kloss

The investor Josh Kushner and his supermodel wife, Karlie Kloss, made a deal for an undisclosed amount with Barry Diller’s media company to revive it as a regular print title.

By: Kala Jerzy

Kushner, a venture capitalist and owner of Thrive Capital, along with his wife, have finalized a deal with IAC subsidiary Dotdash Meredith for the publishing rights to Life, the renowned photography-focused magazine that halted monthly editions in 2000. The plan is to revive Life as a regular print magazine. According to The New York Times, Bedford Media, the media start-up that Kloss leads as C.E.O., is set to take over the publication rights for Life.

Life, initially founded by Time publisher Henry Luce, originated as a weekly pictorial magazine from 1883 to 1972. According to the Times, Life was once a central part of American culture, featuring the work of renowned photographers like Robert Capa and writing by top authors. (Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” first appeared in its pages.)

Life has also been considered the iconic photography-focused chronicler of the 20th century; the magazine’s photojournalists captured iconic images from significant 20th-century events such as World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam conflict. But its popularity plunged after the 1970s, with the magazine largely being reduced to light reading and celebrity news. Over the years, it has taken on many forms, including a weekly magazine, a website and the occasional special issue. In 2008, it became a full-blown online archive with occasional newsstand editions.

According to reports, Kushner, brother of former Trump administration advisor and real estate mogul, Jared Kushner, initiated discussions with Diller about reviving Life in 2023. According to the Times, his pitch was that “the magazine could be resurrected in print and online — as well as in newer iterations like events and collaborations with brands and major studios.”

“Life’s legacy lies in its ability to blend culture, current events and everyday life — highlighting the triumphs, challenges and unique perspectives that define us,” Kushner said in a statement. He will be taking on the role of the magazine’s publisher.

 

 

Kushner, whose venture capital firm’s investments in Instagram, Spotify, and Slack have propelled his net worth to over $3 billion, presented Diller with a vision to re-establish the brand both in print and online, utilizing its name for events and collaborations with studios.

This is couple’s latest venture into media acquisitions. Last year, Bedford acquired i-D, a style magazine formerly owned by Vice. Prior to that, in 2020, Kloss assembled a group of investors to acquire the high-end fashion magazine W. “We envision Life as a source of inspiration and unity in a turbulent media landscape,” Kloss shared with The New York Times.

The acquisition comes at a challenging time for the news industry, with recent closures and layoffs affecting numerous outlets, highlighting the volatility of the media landscape. Facing a downturn in advertising, old-school publishers like Condé Nast and newer ones like Vox and Vice have struggled. However, things look promising as Bedford is already in the process of recruiting editorial staff for Life, with tentative plans to resume publication early next year.

While Bedford Media will oversee the publication of the magazine, Dotdash Meredith will retain rights to the photo and content archive, continuing to release special single-topic print editions. The next steps are for Bedford to begin hiring senior editorial staff for Life, which is tentatively set to resume regular publishing early next year.

 

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