BermanBraun Acquires Whiskey Media (Updated)

Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun's company has closed a deal to acquire social publishing start-up Whiskey Media

Updated, 5 p.m. PT

BermanBraun, the media company founded by Hollywood veterans Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun, has purchased Whiskey Media, a San Francisco-based social publishing start-up created by former CNET CEO Shelby Bonnie, the two companies announced on Thursday.

The Santa Monica-based BermanBraun will acquire three of Whiskey’s sites — Screened, Tested and Anime Vice — as well as its content publishing platform.

"The platform and the executive man power was the critical piece for us," Braun told TheWrap. "Shelby and the people at Whiskey built a state of the art publishing platform with incredible community tools and great social tools, and a great ability to analyze data and access data."

BermanBraun plans to use the publishing platform to further its digital reach, creating new sites and improving engagement on its existing ones.

"It allows us to scale our business in a way that would have been very challenging without it," Braun said.

His company will take on 10 staffers from Whiskey, some of them engineers and some on the content side. BermanBraun currently has a staff of more than 100 people.

Current BermanBraun sites include Wonderwall, a celebrity site, and GLO, a women's lifestyle site, both of which come out of a partnership with MSN.

Also Read: Berman Braun Signs $100M Deal With Starcom for Online Content

Of the three three Whiskey sites BermanBraun is acquiring, one, Screened, focuses on entertainment, another, Anime Vice, focuses on anime and manga, and the third, Tested, is a tech-testing site. Tested will become Tested with Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage (from "Mythbusters"), relaunching Friday.

 

Digital is just one part of BermanBraun's business. It also has television and feature film departments, but despite a growing number of productions its TV department consists of just seven people.

This will be a big year for the digital side of the company, which will launch three YouTube channels, three new AOL sites and at least three other sites on the Whiskey platform.

Braun described the start of this year as "about the craziest couple of mothns Gail and I have ever had in our careers."

Also on Thursday, CBS Interactive bought two other Whiskey Media sites — Giant Bomb and Comic Vine.