Reductress, the self-described “first and only satirical women’s magazine,” announced on August 10 that it had been acquired by Phenomenal Media, per Adweek. As an independent publisher, Reductress, co-founded by comedians Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo, has been taking “on the outdated perspectives and condescending tone of popular women’s media” since 2013 and has served as an early incubator for a number of notable comedy talents, including former SNL head writer Anna Drezen. The publication has been responsible for publishing biting headlines, like “Wow! When This Woman Couldn’t Afford Her Insulin, Her Whole Town Chipped in for Her Funeral” and “Torn! This Pro-Life Conservative Has to Pretend He Believes Black Lives Have Value.” Reductress’s staff, including three full-time and two part-time employees, will remain.
Phenomenal Media, Reductress’s new parent company, is a “media company that centers women and historically excluded communities” led by Meena Harris, the niece of Vice-President Kamala Harris. Through the acquisition, it seeks to tap into the site’s comedy-world connections to further its imprint on entertainment. “The hope is that we will be able to unlock so much more around the voice, audience and humor of Reductress, as well as continue to grow what Reductress has already been doing with and under the Phenomenal brand,” said Harris in a statement to Adweek.
“We started Reductress nine years ago — and there was always an understanding that there was a hard limit to what we could accomplish as an independent company,” Pappalardo said of the acquisition. “We’ve always been looking for a partner that aligns with us ideologically, so when Meena reached out, we realized it was a good match.”
The Adweek report states that Reductress’s revenue, 60 percent of which the site says is now generated through merchandise and satire-writing educational courses, has doubled over the past year. Its sale is in step with a recent trend of beloved comedy brands, like ClickHole, Second City, and the Upright Citizens Brigade, being acquired by larger corporate entities.