Stephen Saunders Acquires Light Reading From UBM
NEW YORK -- Light Reading (www.lightreading.com) today announced that it has been sold back to one of its original founders, Stephen Saunders, by current owner UBM plc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but UBM will retain a significant minority stake in the business.
"I'm delighted to be back at my alma mater," said Saunders. "This is the perfect time to be back in charge of the largest and most engaged community of qualified telecom decision-makers in the world. And we are very pleased to have UBM as a partner as we continue our journey forward."
Saunders's immediate plans for the brand center on significant investment, doubling the size of its database of carrier and service provider executives, and adding a dozen new staff ‒ including eight new editors and analysts. He also announced changes to Light Reading's media pricing to make the publication more competitive. "The bottom line is that the companies that make up the world's $2 trillion telecom supply chain can expect much more coverage from Light Reading, in much more detail," said Saunders.
"It has been my good fortune to benefit from Light Reading's world-class events and unparalleled in-depth coverage of the networking and distributed computing industry for close to a decade," said Joe Weinman, a longstanding executive in the IT and telecom industries formerly with Bell Labs, AT&T, HP, and Telx, author of Cloudonomics, and chairman of the IEEE Intercloud Testbed executive committee. "I look forward to their continued success and growth as well as the continuation of their uniquely insightful, entertaining, and occasionally irreverent style."
Prior to rejoining Light Reading, Saunders was the Managing Director of DeusM, an integrated marketing services unit of UBM, which successfully launched 45 online communities in less than three years. DeusM communities were based on Saunders's unique vision for a structured system of community publishing, one which creates unprecedented engagement among highly qualified business users. Based on the success of the first dozen DeusM-based communities, in 2013 UBM Tech made the decision to move its online business to the DeusM community platform – including decades-old flagship brands such as Information Week and EE Times.
As well as bringing all of the DeusM community know-how to Light Reading, as the CEO of Light Reading Saunders will continue to maintain a close relationship with UBM, collaborating on the development, sales, and delivery of advanced integrated marketing programs.
Paul Miller, CEO, UBM Tech said: "The sale of Light Reading is a further step in our strategy to focus UBM Tech on serving its key communities. We are pleased that a passionate community leader like Steve Saunders is taking on both ownership and leadership of Light Reading. We are retaining a significant minority stake in the business so UBM can share in Light Reading's undoubted continued success, and we wish Steve and the Light Reading team all the very best for the future.
"After eight years as one of UBM's brightest 'intrapreneurs' we're sad to lose Steve, but we're very pleased to have him take up the CEO role at Light Reading to lead the business on its journey beyond UBM. "I would like to thank Steve for his leadership of DeusM and the creation of the multi-award winning professional community engagement platform that is now the standard for all UBM Tech media products. His pioneering work will continue at UBM Tech and for our clients."