Say Media Sells ReadWrite To Wearable World, Remodelista Sold Back To Founders

Long-running tech site ReadWrite (originally known as ReadWriteWeb) has found a new home — it’s been acquired by conference/incubator/media company Wearable World.

Its previous owner, Say Media, announced plans last fall to sell off its owned properties in order to focus on its ad business and its Tempest publishing platform.

Say is also announcing that it has sold home design site Remodelista and gardening site Gardenista to Josh Groves and Julie Carlson — they founded Remodelista, sold it to Say Media, and launched Gardenista while at Say. Carlson will remain editor in chief at Remodelista and Michelle Slatalla will remain EIC at Gardenista.

Michelle Panzer, Say Media’s vice president of brand development and global marketing, told me that with these sales, the only properties that Say still owns are xoJane and xoVain. There are a few suitors looking to buy those fashion and beauty sites, and Say should be making a decision in the next couple of weeks, she said.

VentureBeat reported on the ReadWrite acquisition earlier this morning.

If you’re wondering why a company called Wearable World is acquiring a tech blog, well, co-founder and CEO Redg Snodgrass said his company’s business falls into four categories — advisement, startup incubation, events and media. On the media side, it owns a site called Wearable World News.

Say Media and Wearable World have actually partnered on events before, and ReadWrite Editor in Chief Owen Thomas (who will remain in that role post-acquisition) was the MC at the most recent Wearable World Conference. Snodgrass and Thomas said that by bringing the website and conferences under one roof, they can create more of an ongoing conversation.

It could also help the Labs incubator program, though Thomas added, “Rather than having the Labs companies influence what we write about, what we write about should influence the Labs companies.”

To be clear, this doesn’t mean ReadWrite is going to be all wearables, all the time. There will be a new wearables section on the site, with the Wearable World News archives folded in. Thomas (who was formerly my editor at VentureBeat) also argued that wearables and the broader category of the Internet of Things have long been part of ReadWrite’s “overarching theme of human connectivity.”

“The majority” of ReadWrite staff will be making the transition, he said, with ReadWrite HQ moving to the Wearable World office in San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts.

Snodgrass added that he’d sought out “the blessing” of ReadWrite founder Richard MacManus before making the deal. In the acquisition press release, MacManus said that he’s “thrilled” by the news: “It’s particularly pleasing since ReadWrite was an early champion of wearable technology and the Internet of Things, well before our competitors in the tech blogosphere picked up on these trend.”

ReadWrite currently sees 1.3 million unique visitors each month, according to Say Media. (comScore reports its traffic as 571,000 uniques.)

“We aim to get those higher,” Thomas said. “Not because pageviews, but because we actually think we have an important message that needs to reach a lot of people.” He described the audience that ReadWrite is trying to reach as “the democracy of developers.”

As for where Say Media goes from here, the company recently recapitalized and raised new funding. Panzer said its future lies in bringing publishers onto Tempest and providing additional services like SEO and ad sales. She noted that ReadWrite will remain on Tempest, while other sites on the platform include Fashionista, Pacific Standard Magazine, and multiple A&E properties.

“It’s a new company with an incredible head start,” she said.