Moviefone co-founder Adam Slutsky, who made a fortune when he sold his company to AOL in the 1990s, is launching a healthy food site to focus on plant-based eating and dining — and has hired a former top editor at Condé Nast to oversee the venture, TheBeet.com.
Lucy Danziger, a veteran of Condé Nast in its glory days, was editing Self until 2014. As editorial director of TheBeet, which debuted Tuesday, she’ll now get to compete with her former employer, which has operated Self as a digital-only site since 2017.
“The No. 1 trend in the healthy lifestyle movement is consumers who are mainstreaming plant-based eating,” said Danziger, pointing to Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony, which doled out all-vegan dishes.
The new publication will be careful, however, to avoid pushing veganism as an extreme political movement. “We’re not all or nothing,” she said. “We’re hoping to guide people to a healthier lifestyle choice.”
She says the site will include recipes, original and curated news, and sections such as “The Beet Meter,” which rates the tastiness and healthiness of new plant-based offerings that are popping up everywhere thanks to companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat.
Danziger says she will be operating a tighter ship than she did in her Condé Nast days. “We have four full-timers in New York and two part-timers in California,” she said. “We’re lean and mean. You can get a lot done with a small staff.”
Slutsky, who took Moviefone public in 1994 and then snagged $550 million when AOL bought it in 1999, is also eyeing more purchases with his new private equity firm, Gather Ventures, which has a mini war chest of about $20 million for early-stage investing.
He’s teamed up with another incubator venture firm, 25madison, to provide the backing for TheBeet, which he estimates will be “several million dollars” initially.