Conversant Media founder Zac Zavos exits 18 months after HT&E acquisition

Conversant Media founder Zac Zavos is to depart the company less than two years after the business was acquired by the then APN & News and Media, Mumbrella can reveal.

Zavos founded the online publisher – which produces Lost at E Minor, The Roar and Techly – in 2007.

Zavos first founded the business in 2007

In 2016, APN News & Media – now known as Here, There and Everywhere – acquired his business for $11.6m plus earn outs.

Here, There and Everywhere also owns Adshel and the Australian Radio Network.

It came at a time when the larger independent publishers including Junkee Media and Pedestrian TV, were snatched up by major media companies. While Conversant was bought by HT&E, Junkee Media was snatched by Ooh Media and Nine bought a majority stake in Pedestrian TV. The acquisitions were seen as a commitment to digital investment.

Zavos’ departure comes 18 months after the acquisition of his company was finalised. His last day is today.

Mumbrella understands the departure was amicable and the company does not intend to replace him, with business manager & chief operating officer, Sorrel Osborne, and Conversant Media publisher, Zolton Zavos, taking over his duties.

In the latest calendar year results, Conversant Media posted $4.2m. However its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was only $300,000.

The launch of video platform Club Roar cost the company $320,000.

An HT&E Spokesperson said in a statement to Mumbrella: “Following the successful integration of Conversant Media into HT&E and more closely with ARN, Zac Zavos is stepping away from the business. After 17 months operating under the HT&E umbrella and planning his exit, Zac has resigned and will finish up with Conversant this month.”

Ciaran Davis, CEO and managing director of HT&E, said: “Zac has led Conversant Media for over ten years, growing the business from two hobby websites to a business employing over 20 people and reaching millions of Australians each month.

“Zac has deeply understood how to grow engaged digital audiences, and was instrumental in Conversant Media’s pivot towards a video-first strategy, which sees Conversant well-positioned in the current digital market.

“While we will miss Zac, he leaves Conversant Media in a strong position – a business with a distinct model and compelling brands, driven by a passionate team that will continue to build on his success. We wish Zac the very best in his next endeavours.”


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