Laurene Powell Jobs an activist, investor and entrepreneur, has been investing in media companies through her social impact firm, Emerson Collective.
Emerson — which gets its name from, yes, Ralph Waldo and has focused on education, immigration and the environment since it was formally created in 2011 — would not disclose the price it paid for Pop-Up. But it’s small compared to the many other investments its for-profit and nonprofit arms have made over the last two years.
That includes an undisclosed sum to pick up a majority chunk of The Atlantic magazine, along with funding to add 100 employees, including the New Yorker writer George Packer and a former Facebook executive, Alex Hardiman; starting a documentary production company, Concordia Studio, with the Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim; buying a large stake in the production, content and talent management powerhouse Anonymous Content, the maker of “Spotlight”; purchasing another in Macro, which finances media focusing on stories of people of color, like “Fences”; and making investments in the online magazine Ozy, the news site Axios and the podcast-making phenom Gimlet Media.
Emerson has also sprinkled money all over nonprofit journalism, including at ProPublica, Mother Jones, The Marshall Project, the Committee to Protect Journalists, StoryCorps, Lawfare, Texas Observer and Chalkbeat.