Literally Media Acquires Mel Magazine from Recurrent Ventures


Comedy and entertainment media company Literally Media acquired men’s lifestyle and entertainment title Mel Magazine from Recurrent Ventures Friday, according to Literally Media CEO Oren Katzeff.

Literally Media, which is owned by Israeli venture capital firm 44 Ventures, financed the acquisition internally but wouldn’t share the price.

“With Mel, we have a dedicated brand, loyal audience and distinct editorial voice,” Katzeff said. “Where there is so much noise online, the opportunity to land an established brand is a huge win and part of our broader strategy for growing the company.”

The property will join Literally Media’s growing portfolio, which includes early internet staples like, Know Your Meme and Cheezburger. It will relaunch early next year.

The publisher is the latest in a series of beloved brands—alongside Gawker, Jezebel and Paper Magazine—to be shuttered and subsequently revived under new ownership this year. 

The trend reflects a fundamental truth of the economics of digital media, which is that audience fervor is no guarantee of financial viability. Still, as social and search traffic wane, brand equity and direct readership have grown more valuable. 

An updated editorial and commercial strategy

Literally Media has no plans to alter the signature editorial style and subject matter of Mel Magazine, according to Katzeff, who joined the company last March after stints at Condé Nast Entertainment and Tastemade.

However, the publisher will emphasize adapting its intellectual property to new channels, with a particular focus on video and audio. Certain stories, including an exposé on truck-driving serial killers and the story behind a $65 million art heist, have already been flagged for potential expansions.

Literally Media generates roughly 70% of its revenue from on-site advertising, 13% from video advertising and 17% from a mix of content syndication, commerce and events.

The 50-person operation, which is profitable, hopes to increase the portion of its revenue coming from video sponsorship and direct deals, and it plans to hire a direct sales team in early 2024. Literally Media has more than 3 million cumulative subscribers on YouTube and 35 million followers across social channels.

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