San Francisco-based Salon Media Group Inc., which publishes the Internet magazine Salon.com, announced this month it has received an $800,000 investment from Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner and Adobe Systems founder and co-chairman John Warnock.
Wenner invested $200,000, and will join Salon’s board. Warnock, who invested the remainder $600,000, already sits on Salon’s board. Adobe Ventures, the investment arm of Adobe Systems, previously invested $2 million in Salon in 1995.
The infusion will support the efforts of the rock-n’-roll zine and the money-losing Internet pub to collaborate on at least six investigative pieces about the U.S. presidential campaign, harking back to the days when Hunter Thompson wrote for Rolling Stone about the 1972 presidential campaign.
Salon’s and Rolling Stone’s first installment is slated to appear within the next month, says David Talbot, Salon founder, editor-in-chief and CEO.
Although loyal readers log onto Salon as their home page, and despite critical praise, Salon has never made a profit. It reportedly lost about $80 million over the last eight years, as it has struggled following the collapse of Internet banner advertising.
Salon, which went public in 1999 and still trades on the OTC (SALN.OB), raised more than $28 million between 1995 and 2001, according to Thomson Venture Economics (publisher of PE Week) from Adobe Ventures, JPMorgan Partners, Apple Computer and other investors.
Before the dot-com bust in 2000, Salon employed 140. The company now has about 60 on staff.
The online magazine a few years ago began offering $35 annual subscriptions. It now boasts 73,000 subscribers. Talbot said Salon’s losses are lessening as it moves toward becoming profitable.