Emerson Collective Acquires Pop-Up Magazine Productions
NOVEMBER 27, 2018
Emerson Collective Acquires
Pop-Up Magazine Productions
Emerson Collective, the organization founded and run by Laurene Powell Jobs, announced today that it has acquired Pop-Up Magazine Productions, publisher of Pop-Up Magazine, the popular, touring “live magazine” show, and The California Sunday Magazine, known for its ambitious reported features and photography from across the American West, Asia, and Latin America.
Douglas McGray, co-founder and Editor in Chief, and Chas Edwards, co-founder and President, will continue to run day-to-day operations of the company.
“We’ve gotten to know Emerson Collective well over the years, and we’ve been so impressed by their integrity, their creativity, their thoughtfulness, and their high standards. Honestly, I can’t imagine a better partner,” said McGray. “We share a belief that great journalism and storytelling can challenge and inspire people,” said Edwards.
The acquisition highlights Emerson Collective and Pop-Up Magazine Productions’s shared values and ambitions.
In the media space, Emerson Collective empowers storytellers and journalists who inform communities and enrich culture. Last year, Emerson Collective acquired majority ownership of The Atlantic, and it invests in several independent and nonprofit journalism enterprises. It has been a longtime supporter and investor in Pop-Up Magazine Productions prior to the acquisition.
“We think the creators and team at Pop-Up Magazine and California Sunday Magazine are exciting and innovative. Both magazines have managed to create unique journalistic platforms that help foster empathy and better understanding in the world,” said Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and President of Emerson Collective. “Pop-Up Magazine’s live format engages audiences in a fresh, impactful way. Emerson Collective is thrilled to partner with both outlets and share their work with a wider audience.”
Pop-Up Magazine Productions believes in the power of intimate, unforgettable stories to explore important issues and ideas and to bring people together. Pop-Up Magazine presents live multimedia experiences at major venues across the country, such as Lincoln Center and BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in New York, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, and the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. These unique performances push the boundaries of live journalism and storytelling. A reporter has collaborated with a shadow theater company. A documentary filmmaker has teamed up with a dancer. This year, an animated story about the future of senior care was directed by thousands of audience members voting in real time with glow sticks. Another story, about extinction and the emerging science of de-extinction, culminated in a moment where the audience, all together, became the first people in more than 100 years to smell an extinct flower. In 2019, Pop-Up Magazine expects to bring live magazine experiences to more than 40,000 people, a tenfold increase since 2014.
Launched at the end of 2014, The California Sunday Magazine has been a finalist for ten National Magazine Awards, including General Excellence and Magazine of the Year, as well as Reporting, Design, and Photography, and a winner three times. This spring, the Society of Publication Designers named California Sunday 2018 Magazine of the Year. The magazine has published deeply reported features about immigration, national politics in the West, criminal justice, youth culture, the environment, and more, with ever growing ambition. In January, California Sunday published a sweeping, 20,000-word story of big industrial agriculture, water, and immigrant labor—its longest and most-read story this year. And the magazine will produce a special issue this December in which all stories will be told through photography, focusing on a single theme: Home. In connection with the issue, California Sunday will expand the issue’s cover story into an exhibition at Aperture Gallery in New York—and transform the gallery space into a magazine feature audiences can walk through.
Pop-Up Magazine Productions will continue to expand as an independent subsidiary of Emerson Collective. The California Sunday Magazine and Pop-Up Magazine will bring their distinctive journalism and storytelling to new and larger audiences. And the company, in collaboration with Emerson Collective, will accelerate its new “special projects” work to develop new kinds of events and custom projects. They are currently piloting a new kind of event series, Pop-Up Zine, a DIY version of Pop-Up Magazine that will invite journalists and other creative people across the country, in communities big and small, to produce their own live magazine–style events. And other new initiatives and experiments are underway.
Marcy Stech, Emerson Collective
Victoria Chow, Pop-Up Magazine Productions