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The Condé Nast Family’s Multibillion-Dollar Fortune: Where the Newhouses Stash Their Money

The Disney family may have given up the reins of its business decades ago, but there is still no shortage of powerful families in media holding sway. Shari Redstone controls Paramount Global, though for how long remains unclear as she considers a sale. The Ochs Sulzbergers still dominate the board of The New York Times. The Murdochs own major stakes in Fox and News Corp. And Brian Roberts and his family lord over Comcast and NBCUniversal.

But, quietly, one of the original New York media families has amassed a multibillion-dollar fortune: the Newhouses. And while the descendants of Samuel Irving Newhouse Sr. don’t exert as much direct power over the majority of their holdings (for the most part, they lean on the professional CEOs at the companies in which they invest), their reach is vast.

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In addition to owning Condé Nast, they’re the largest outside shareholders in Warner Bros. Discovery and also are major investors in Charter Communications, which is seeking to transform how the TV bundle is sold through its landmark streaming deal with Disney.

Warner Bros. Discovery — 8.1 percent of shares, valued at $1.74 billion (pie chart)
Warner Bros. Discovery — 8.1 percent of shares, valued at $1.74 billion (pie chart)

The Newhouses were early investors in Discovery Communications, and their special tier of stock gave them leverage in the WarnerMedia merger. They now have two of WBD’s 13 board seats, held by Steven O. Newhouse and Steve Miron, CEO of Advance/ Newhouse Partnership.

Condé Nast 100 percent ownership, estimated value of $5 billion (based on 3X earnings of $1.7 billion) (pie chart)
Condé Nast 100 percent ownership, estimated value of $5 billion (based on 3X earnings of $1.7 billion) (pie chart)

The crown jewel of the Newhouse family empire, the owner and publisher of publications like Vanity Fair, Vogue, Wired and The New Yorker has struggled in recent years along with the rest of the magazine business. The company has been around breakeven in recent years, sources have said, and revenue was flat in 2023 compared with 2022, CEO Roger Lynch told Axios in early March.

Charter Communications 13 percent of shares, valued at $5.9 billion (pie chart)
Charter Communications 13 percent of shares, valued at $5.9 billion (pie chart)

The cable company has been a disrupter over the past year, leveraging a carriage fight with Disney to demand that its TV subscribers gain access to the company’s streaming services. The Newhouse family gained their stake when Charter acquired their cable company Bright House in a $10 billion deal in 2015. Steve Miron and Michael Newhouse serve on Charter’s board.

Reddit 27 percent of shares, valued at $2.1 billion (pie chart)
Reddit 27 percent of shares, valued at $2.1 billion (pie chart)

In what could be one of the best deals in the family’s history, Condé Nast acquired Reddit for $10 million in 2006, ultimately opting to spin it out later as its own stand-alone company. Now the Newhouse family is the largest shareholder in the newly public Reddit, with Steven Newhouse and former Condé Nast chief Bob Sauerberg on its board.

The Other Newhouse Businesses

Athletes compete during the water segment of the Panama City Beach IRONMAN on November 4, 2023 in Panama City, Florida.
Athletes compete during the water segment of the Panama City Beach Ironman race on November 4, 2023 in Panama City, Florida.

Ironman Group The owner and organizer of the global Ironman endurance races and competitions.

Stage Entertainment A live theater company operating mostly in Europe.

Advance Local Owner of local news outlets like The Oregonian, MassLive and Newark’s Star-Ledger.

American City Business Journals Publisher of business-focused newsweeklies.

Turnitin Software firm that checks for copying and plagiarism, primarily used by academia.

This story first appeared in the March 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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