Lewis Dvorkin, the former SVP of *AOL* News and Sports, tells paidContent that he has received undisclosed, early-stage funding for a news aggregation site from Forbes Media and Velocity Interactive Group. Dvorkin, who left AOL (NYSE: TWX) in May after eight years, said the site is still a work in progress and therefore isn’t live yet. And while he hasn’t decided on an official name for the site, the company is called Public Post Inc.
The idea behind the site is to create a news network around individual journalists, authors, bloggers, documentary filmmakers — in general, anyone with distinct credibility as a “knowledgeable expert,” as opposed to citizen journalists that are curated by sites like NowPublic, Dvorkin says. Although it’s being backed by Forbes Media, Public Post’s site will be independent and not tied directly to any other content company, Dvorkin adds.
So far, Dvorkin has hired another AOL alum, Andrea Spiegel, as chief product officer. She left her role as a VP at AOL after 9 years in 2006 and served as editor-in-chief and VP of content for blog host site Freewebs. She began her career at Fox Television and since departing Freewebs last year, has worked as a media consultant. In addition to Spiegel, Dvorkin has also hired a chief technology officer, though the individual’s name is not being released yet.
This is Dvorkin’s second go-round in crafting a startup. In 1995, he co-founded Virtual City, a quarterly lifestyle print pub about cyberspace and was funded by Newsweek. Before that, he held top editorial positions at Forbes, WSJ, NYT and Newsweek. Dvorkin has certainly benefited from the past connections he has made during his career, especially when it comes to funding his creations. In this case, aside from his history at Forbes, Velocity is headed by former AOL CEO Jon Miller. At AOL, Dvorkin played an integral role in in developing AOL’s celebrity gossip news site TMZ.com, AOL Sports’ Fanhouse channel and helped manage the transition of Netscape.com into social news site Propeller. Looking back at his experience and how it will influence Public Post’s creation, Dvorkin says: “Clearly with my background, I hope to be a bridge between traditional media and digital media.”