Update: Also read interviews with top Guardian execs on this acquisition: “Guardian Execs On ContentNext Acquisition: McCall, Brooks Talk U…

Update: Also read interviews with top Guardian execs on this acquisition: “Guardian Execs On ContentNext Acquisition: McCall, Brooks Talk Up Expansion

We got scooped on the biggest story of our own company’s life. Such is our life. Almost six years after our company started with paidContent.org, we have been acquired by Guardian News & Media (GNM), the news media division of UK-headquartered Guardian Media Group (GMG). Guardian itself is owned by the Scott Trust.

GNM publishes UK national newspapers

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By Rafat Ali

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  1. Personanondata Friday, July 11, 2008

    Congrats – great match up for both Paid Content and GNM

  2. Rex Hammock Friday, July 11, 2008

    While this is a continuation of a journey — it does mark the end of a beginning. And it was a great beginning. I am happy that I got to cheer from the sidelines and look forward to many great things ahead. Congratulations and onward, upward!

  3. Congratulations on the big bucks!

    High quality video shows about content monetization would be cool..

    I expect Google will soon start to monetize Youtube with overlay advertising and that will bring them billions of dollars in revenue, so there will be huge things to cover in that space.

  4. Congrats Rafat and team. PaidContent was the first blog I read on a regular basis (well before TechCrunch and the likes), and it has always maintained its high level of journalistic quality and integrity. You guys deserve this.

    Bringing credible, breaking news to the masses: http://www.newscred.com

  5. Paul Conley Friday, July 11, 2008

    This is certainly great news for the Guardian, which is rapidly becoming one of the most Web-savvy newspaper companies on earth.
    And because of the Guardian's understanding of Web journalism, I can only assume that this deal is great news for you and your readers as well.

  6. Congratulations, Rafat and Team! Good show. PaidContent and Moconews have been two of my "must read" sources for a few years now. You've always been consistent in the quality of reporting, without much hype of anything "2.0". I've found myself returning to these sites for references, etc.

    Here's to your next phase.

  7. Cynthia Brumfield Friday, July 11, 2008


    Congrats! You and your team deserve it for working so hard for so long — even before the prospect of this kind of sale was a possibility.

    Onward and upward,
    Cynthia B.

  8. Jason Goldberg Friday, July 11, 2008

    Perfect match. Well done!

  9. Rafat, congrats! :)

  10. Dominic Rivera Friday, July 11, 2008

    Congrats Rafat and to your entire team!

  11. Wow! Keep the good stuff coming.

  12. Congrats!

  13. Congrats Rafat, well done!

  14. Adam Isserlis Friday, July 11, 2008

    Congrats Rafat, Staci, David, Joe and everyone on the PaidContent team. great news.

  15. Congrats Rafat! You've come such a long way in the last 5 years! Guardian feels like a great fit. Hope all's well, Alex

  16. Ross Mayfield Friday, July 11, 2008

    Congrats Rafat, you earned it!

  17. You're such a pimp :) Congrats on the brilliant exit.

    Smart move for Guardian. Very cool!

  18. Congratulations Rafat & Staci!

  19. Excellent news, Rafat. I've been following PaidContent since 2005 and reading the Guardian since 1991. Both are quality publications, and it will be great to have the mutual support and cross-fertilization taking place.

    Ian Lamont,
    The Industry Standard

  20. david nussbaum Friday, July 11, 2008

    Congratulations Rafat, I'm sure this is simply the end of one journey but the beginning of the Next . . .

  21. Congrats Rafat and team….well played!

  22. Payam Dastmalchi Friday, July 11, 2008

    Good work, congrats all! I've been following this site for the past couple years and have enjoyed reading your articles and learning more about the industry.

    You all deserved it!

  23. Martin Roell Friday, July 11, 2008

    Congratulations, Rafat! This is very good news.

  24. Angela Wilson Gyetvan Friday, July 11, 2008

    Congratulations, all. Richly deserved.

  25. Congrats to Rafat and the team. Well deserved.

    Corey Quinn
    The Search Agency

  26. Very exciting news. Congratulations.

  27. Ryan Bowermaster Friday, July 11, 2008

    Congratulations Rafat!

    Glad to see your continued success & wish you the best as you move forward- your passion & hard work finally have reaped the rewards!

    Well deserved props also go out to Stacy, Ted, Raj, Mike and everyone else in the CN family! I'm proud I can say I was a part of this team at one point & look forward to seeing what kinds of magic you have up your sleeves for the future.

    Keep up the good work!

    Ryan Bowermaster
    RightMedia, LLC.

  28. Janesville Jones Friday, July 11, 2008

    From one of the invisible moms: thanks for employing my first born! How could I not wish you all the best and brightest of all possible futures. And so I do! Good work all y'all. –

  29. keith bohanna Friday, July 11, 2008

    Rafat – you were both helpful and courteous to me years ago when we were both starting new businesses. You have gotten there – very well deserved :-)



  30. David Eckoff Friday, July 11, 2008

    Rafat and Staci, congratulations!

    You definitely earned the right though your hard work and high quality, to see a great outcome like this.

    I remember way back when you started PaidContent how impressed I was with you – and it was fun being able to blog some conference for you back at the start.

    I'm very happy for you and wish you much continued success!

    David Eckoff

  31. Malcolm Bird Friday, July 11, 2008

    Rafat and team, congrats, well deserved!

  32. Rafat & ContentNext team – Congratulations! You guys are running a high quality content business.

  33. Bianca Janosevic Friday, July 11, 2008

    A great reward for a well-deserving team! I read you every day and find that you're still the best source of information for the industry, despite all the media that now covers it. It couldn't have happened to better journalists.

  34. Raanan Bar-Cohen Friday, July 11, 2008

    Congrats Rafat & team,

    Well deserved and now you have an exciting opportunity to expand your business. Excited to see what you guys do next.

  35. Congratulations on this transaction. The valuation supports what we have always known; you and your team offer an incredibly valuable product.
    Congratulations again.
    Ken Anderson

  36. Nittn Warshne Saturday, July 12, 2008

    Congrats Rafat !
    Way back you wanted to become a Radio Jockey, good you did not follow that.

    Best of luck to you and your team.
    Nittn Warshne

  37. Rafat, Staci, Mike and team Congratulations!
    paidcontent.org was the first blog/news source that I encountered upon entering the online media/content industry in 2003/04 and wasn't long before you were not only daily reading, but a must read!
    To quote an earlier posting "the valuation supports what we have always known; you and your team offer an incredibly valuable product. "
    All the best, hope to see you at the next west coast mixer.
    David Clarke


  39. Pradyuman Maheshwari Saturday, July 12, 2008

    Congratulations, Rafat.

  40. Congratulations. Way to go guys!

  41. Congrats Rafat.

  42. Huge congrats. Now help the rest of us sell ;)

  43. Thanks everyone for all the nice comments and compliments. I am just recovering from the whirlwind yesterday and the flight back from NYC to LA…someone told me this new phone called iPhone launched yesterday :)

    Sincerely appreciate all the thoughts, and we will try to continue to live up and exceed to the standards you all know us for.

  44. kulsoom & ghazali Sunday, July 13, 2008

    congrats,this merger is a well deserved reward of you & your teams hardwork.may allah bless you with more success ahead and expand your work worldwide especially in england so that we can meet more often…..keep it up…..progress is well written in your path

  45. Andy Sternberg Sunday, July 13, 2008

    Congrats Rafat and everyone at PaidContent! Keep up the great work.

  46. Steve Touhill Monday, July 14, 2008

    Congratulations! You've earned it.

  47. firoza moola Monday, July 14, 2008

    congrats to Rafat and Najmia. May your company grow from strength to strength. all your hard work has really paid off.may Allah bless you with more success.

    salaam aunty firoza and family

  48. Does this mean you guys will be writing the odd article / commentary piece for MediaGuardian.co.uk? Will you be working much more with the Guardian's Jemima Kiss?

  49. Congratulations to both sides. Interesting to see the development of PaidContent and also curious about how things will develop in the future.

  50. Congrats to all of you for your efforts and the quality that you people maintained. Hope to see the best of the best…

  51. Congratulations, Rafat, Staci and team! It's been great to witness your progression and expansion over the years. This will be an exciting new path along the PaidContent journey! Best, Lisa

  52. Will Richmond Monday, July 14, 2008

    Congrats Rafat…well done!

  53. Abhilash Patel Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    Congrats Rafat & the whole team. Way to throw a punch for Los Angeles tech companies!

  54. thanks..

  55. Great stuff Rafat – I remember sitting across from you at a conference break in Amsterdam in about late 2002 when you were furiously blogging away…meeting a deadline as you always do and adding real insight to the paid content market in its very early days. Glad we were able to be one of your very early supporters/advertisers as a result of that chance meeting.

    Keep up the great work!


  56. Congrats Rafat

  57. Great stuff Rafat

  58. Devin T. – Harlem 6 – Wu Tang Thursday, February 5, 2009

    Congratulations on stepping it up, working with an award winning news organization. That's what I gathered anyhow. A lot of official lingo there, being a press release and all. My brain has a hard time taking it all in.

    Haha, this started as a blog! With your wife there, rolling her eyes, and a few friends that believed in your dream. Faith and diligence is what got me to where I am, president of web department for my record label. I'm encouraged to know that's what got you to where you are now.

    Good luck with whatever the future brings. Very touching story.

  59. Hi guys,

    Im doing a paper: Is paid for content the way forward for online media?

    You guys seem to know all about it, perhaps a few tips would help me get started if you can spare the time.

    Very interesting debate btw


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