Austin Russell
Austin Russell

An 82 percent stake in Forbes Global Media Holdings is being acquired by Austin Russell, founder and CEO of Luminar Technologies, a company that develops vision-based lidar and machine perception technologies, mainly for self-driving cars. Forbes’s current parent company, Hong Kong-based Integrated Whale Media Investments, will hold on to a minority stake in the company, as well as retaining a seat on its board. The remaining stake in the company still held by the Forbes family will now be owned by Russell, who was named youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes in 2021. However, Forbes Media chairman and editor in chief Steve Forbes will remain involved with the company. Russell does not plan to involve himself in the platform’s news coverage or its day-to-day operations. Instead, he will depend on a new board that will allegedly include media, tech and AI experts. Steve Forbes referred to Russell as “a dynamic entrepreneur and thought leader,” and said that “his energy and vision will enable Forbes to continue and enhance the excellent work for which we are known.”


The Institute for Nonprofit News formally launches its Rural News Network, a website that will incorporate the work of 68 participating newsrooms operating across 46 states. The initiative, which began as a pilot project in 2021, will be supported by dedicated grants from organizations including the Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and Walton Family Foundation. It will let readers sort stories by state and topic as well as find news outlets that address their interests. In addition, RNN will also permit news publishers to republish much of its content for free on their own sites. “This new platform is an important step to shining a light on the nuances of rural communities,” said MacAruthur Foundation program officer Michael Harvey, “adding a vital but often unheard voice to the national discourse.”


NBCUniversal’s Peacock signs up as the first streaming service to snag exclusive rights to an NFL playoff game, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Sources told the Journal that the price tag on the deal is in the neighborhood of $110 million. While some NFL playoff games have previously been carried on streamers, this marks the first time that a playoff game will not also be carried on a national broadcast or cable network. The game will be played on Jan. 13, 2024 as part of Wild Card Weekend. Amazon Prime Video, which was the exclusive home of “Thursday Night Football” last season, was also in the running for the rights to the game. “This will be transformative for sports on digital,” NFL Media executive VP and COO Hans Schroeder said.