The Work

June 30, 2010 5:43 PM

Media Deal Round-up: Gossip Girl and Wall Street Lead Things Off

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

(Editor's Note: Information about the in-house counsel for Alloy Inc. was added in the fifth paragraph below, 7/1/10 2:57 p.m.) 

ZelnickMedia Gets In On Some Gossip

Gossip Girl has found a new home, but it won't require teenyboppers--or guilty-pleasure seekers-- to adjust their TiVo settings.

Alloy, Inc., the media programming and marketing company that has produced the television show Gossip Girl, as well as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies, agreed last week to be acquired by ZelnickMedia. In a deal valued at nearly $126.5 million, ZelnickMedia will pay $9.80 per share for Alloy.

According to a company press release, ZelnickMedia, which manages and owns such media companies as Airvana, ITN Networks, and Arkadium, hopes to build on the success Alloy's offering already enjoy among  millenials.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett served as legal counsel for ZelnickMedia, with partner Daniel Clivner leading the firm's team of lawyers.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, meanwhile, advised Alloy and Weil, Gotshal & Manges counseled Macquarie, Alloy's financial adviser. Kramer Levin corporate partners Richard Gilden and Eric Lerner led a  team that also included employee benefits and executive compensation special counsel Avram Cahn, and associates Connie Chiang, Carly Vella, and Blake Rigel. At Weil, partner Raymond Gietz and associate Arman Kuyumjian worked on the deal. In-house counsel for Alloy was provided by the company's chief legal officer, Gina DiGioia.

Geraldine Laybourne, the former CEO of Nickelodeon and founder of Oxygen Media, will serve as chair of the Alloy board, while company cofounders Matt Diamond and Jim Johnson will stay on as CEO and COO, respectively.

Markit Gambles on Wall Street On Demand

International financial information services company Markit has reached an agreement to purchase the Boulder, Colorado-based administrative support services company Wall Street on Demand, the companies announced.

While terms of the deal were not announced, Markit said it hopes to leverage the acquisition to better deliver products and services to its clients, and to deliver Wall Street On Demand's Web applications to the financial industry. 

Proskauer Rose advised Markit on the deal, with partner Ronald Papa leading the firm's M&A group. Also working on the deal were partners Daryn Grossman (cohead of the technology, media and communications group), Alan Parnes (tax), and Ira Bogner (tax and employee benefits). Adam Kansler is Markit's general counsel.

Wall Street On Demand received legal counsel from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. Corporate partners Robert Schwenkel and Brian Mangino worked on the deal for the firm, as did executive compensation and employee benefits partner Donald Carleen, intellectual property partner Henry Lebowitz; corporate special counsel Alexander Kim; and tax partners Robert Cassanos and Michael Alter.

BN Media Puts Faith in Beliefnet

News Corp. has sold spirituality Web site, which it purchased in 2007, to BN Media. Terms of the deal were not disclosed when BN Media announced last week that it was buying the site.

Beliefnet advertises itself as the Internet's leading multifaith inspiration and spirituality Web site, pointing to more than 14 million subscribers to its newsletter and almost 3 million unique monthly visitors. BN Media's investors include the backers behind Cross Bridge, a mulitmedia distributor for nonprofits and charities, as well as Affinity4, a marketer that specializes in fund-raising for ministries and other nonprofit organizations. 

BN Media said in a statement that it feels that Beliefnet's mission will mesh nicely with the company's other holdings.

Representing BN Media on the deal was Hughes Hubbard & Reed, with corporate partners Dan Schnapp and Ken Lefkowitz leading the firm's team of lawyers. It's just the latest in a string of media deals that Lefkowitz has worked on recently, including the sale of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Phil Evans served as in-house counsel for BN Media.

News Corp. received legal counsel from Hogan Lovells, with M&A partner Alexander Johnson taking the lead for the firm. Michael Bunder, Dan Fawcett, and Anna Tran served as the company's in-house legal team on the deal. Buys Group Inc. has announced an agreement to acquire, a domain name registration provider, for $135 million. said it will finance the purchase with roughly $20 million in cash, augmented by long-term debt., a New York-based company founded in 1994, boasts more than 800,000 subscribers. Meanwhile, Jacksonville, Fla.-based is the leading provider of online marketing for small businesses, with a market capitalization of $101.4 million.

Shearman & Sterling provided legal counsel to, with M&A partners Michael Kennedy and Steve Camahort leading the effort from the firm's San Francisco office. Antitrust partner Beau Buffier, finance partner Monica Holland, compensation and benefits partner Doreen Lilienfeld, tax partner Don Lonczak, and IP partner Tina Patel also worked on the deal from the firm's New York and Menlo Park offices. Roni Jacobson served as's in-house counsel on the transaction.

Cooley advised on the deal. Partner James Fulton, Jr. and associate Danielle Naftulin led Cooley's team, which also included partners Wendy Davis and Daniel Meehan. In-house counsel for was provided by Matthew McClure, the company's chief legal counsel, and corporate counsel Jonathan Tenenbaum.

Rebranding Effort for Dow Jones and Credit Suisse

A top financial services provider and a global index provider have signed an agreement that will combine their name power to create the Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Indexes, Credit Suisse announced last week.

The agreement was signed by Credit Suisse and CME Group Index Services, which owns 90 percent of the Dow Jones & Company's index business. The indexes, formerly known as the Credit Suisse/Tremont Hedge Fund Indexes, will calculate, distribute, and market the indexes. Methodologies and rules for the indexes will remain consistent, the companies say, and Credit Suisse affiliates will continue to manage the financial products to which they are linked. 

Credit Suisse received legal advising from Weil, Gotshal & Manges, with corporate partner Doug Warner taking the lead. Tax partner Joseph Newberg and IP partner Jeff Osterman also worked on the deal.

CME Group used only in-house counsel for the deal, and the names of the lawyers involved were not disclosed.

The new indexes will consist of four sectors: the "Broad Index"; the Dow Jones Credit Suisse AllHedge Index; the Dow Jones Credit Suisse Blue Chip Hedge Fund Index; and the Dow Jones Credit Suisse LEA Hedge Fund Index.

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