Digital news outlet Cheddar has been sold to Altice USA for $200 million, the company announced on Tuesday morning. Cheddar’s founder and CEO Jon Steinberg will remain as president of the company as well as Altice’s News 12 channel and i24News.
“Cheddar has demonstrated an innovative approach to live news while building an engaged audience, solid followership and a strong brand,” Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei said. “As one of Cheddar’s early investors, we have enjoyed our partnership with Jon and admire the entrepreneurial spirit, energy and smart disruptive mentality that he brings to the news business. We look forward to seeing our growing news team continue to deliver the best content for our viewers and more opportunities for our advertisers.”
Steinberg told the Wall Street Journal that he would be reinvesting some of the deal proceeds into Altice USA stock as a sign of commitment to integrating his company into its new owner, though declined to provide specifics.
“Our goal is to make Altice News a leader in local, business, national, and international news everywhere as we look to build a live news offering for customers in the traditional pay-TV ecosystem, as well as those looking to a la carte alternative SVOD services, vMVPDs, and free systems for their non-news entertainment,” Steinberg said in a statement. “The Altice team and Altice Way are as entrepreneurial as it gets with amazing markets, world-class local and international news, an amazing broadband network, and a soon to launch mobile offering. I can’t wait for Cheddar to begin working with Altice’s team.”
The acquisition is the final step in the partnership between the two companies. They were already working together to distribute programming after Altice invested in Cheddar in 2017. Altice USA’s News 12 currently airs the daily Cheddar Tech Report on its seven stations in the New York tri-state area, and i24NEWS runs top stories from Cheddar as part of its global news coverage.
Launched in January 2016, Cheddar is available in more than 40 million pay-TV homes through both MVPDs and virtual MVPDs such as YouTube TV, Sling, Hulu Live, and DirecTV NOW. The company also distributes programming on ad-supported streaming platforms PlutoTV, Xumo, and The Roku Channel and has a network of 1,600 owned and operated screens on 600 campuses.