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‘Vanity Fair meets Substack’

Private equity firm TPG is backing a new subscription-based digital publication being launched by Jon Kelly, a former editor of Vanity Fair, that will cover media, Hollywood and tech, according to The New York Times.

In what has been described as ‘Vanity Fair meets Substack’, writers will get a percentage of subscription revenue they generate. The new company, Heat Media, launches later this year. The start-up is partly the brainchild of Jon Kelly, a former journalist at Vanity Fair who worked for Graydon Carter. The annual subscription is expected to be priced at $100 and might include a daily newsletter, a website and access to events. The publication has not yet been named. One possible title is Puck, the name of a 19th century US magazine. It is believed that the team had originally thought of launching as Heat before it became aware of Bauer’s UK magazine brand.

The big question might be whether mainstream media companies will soon start to launch services which involve journalists in the business. It might be one way to head off the expected assault on newspapers and magazines from Substack and (coming soon) newsletter platforms from Facebook, Twitter and WordPress. Who’s first with a United Artists model (the Hollywood studio was once owned by its stars)?