Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Mobile Blogger “Boy Genius” Unmasked, Acquired

You probably haven’t heard of Jonathan Geller. But you may have read his site. Geller’s Boy Genius Report is avidly followed by those obsessed with mobile phones and the companies who make them.

Among those paying attention: Mail.com owner Jay Penske, who has just purchased Geller’s three-and-a-half year-old site, which averages around a million visitors per month.

Geller will be added to Penske’s growing stable of Web site operators, which includes high-profile gets like Hollywood power blogger Nikki Finke and celebrity editrix Bonnie Fuller.

Geller wouldn’t tell me what the terms were, but said the deal for his company — he’s the sole owner, and employs three writers — is worth “multiple millions”. If that sounds familiar, it’s because we heard similar numbers batted around when Penske bought Finke’s one-woman site last summer.

I assume the terms include an upfront payment, equity in Penske’s company and payouts triggered by traffic and/or revenue goals, so there’s likely a good deal of wiggle room in the deal.

In any case, it’s a nice bit of validation for a 23-year-old who never made it to college. Geller dropped out of Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Conn., presumably because he was too busy contributing posts to tech kingpin Engadget. He started his own site in October 2006.

Geller says he’s kept his name off of his posts, and off his site because it seemed like a good idea, “for marketing reasons.”

He will still keep his name off the site, but will be making a few changes under Penske’s ownership. Geller is changing the url to an easier-to-find bgr.com, for instance. And Penske will be bringing his own people to replace Federated Media, which has been handing sales for the site.

The content should remain the same, though: Plenty of stat-heavy posts about everything from Apple’s (AAPL)’s new iPhone (duh) to Research in Motion’s (RIMM) annual BlackBerry convention.


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