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The Bold and the Usable


San Francisco startup The Bold Italic is not a startup

Sometimes an actor really wants to be governor. Sometimes a man wants to dress like a woman. And sometimes a major corporation wants to act like a startup.

San Francisco’s The Bold Italic might look like a content and events startup, but in reality, it’s an incubator for media powerhouse the Gannett Company, the owner of over 90 daily newspapers (including USA Today), 23 television stations, and various digital properties.

Founded three years ago in conjunction with design firm IDEO, The Bold Italic offers readers a combination of editorial, events, and merchandise centered around San Francisco (see a recent feature on Oakland’s Popuphood). Despite the big business of its parent, the publication maintains a distinctly startup spirit, allowing it to experiment and iterate without the trappings of bureaucracy.

“The project is really about the future of media and experimenting with what people want to engage with,” Mat Rick, The Bold Italic’s Business Development Lead, told us. “We’ve found that people really respond to hyperlocal coverage. It started out very rigid – covering the seven by seven miles of San Francisco – but since then it’s grown looser.”

The Bold Italic has eight full time employees, plus a large pool of freelance contributors. They’re currently hiring an Advertising Sale Manager, as well as looking for freelance designers, writers, and photographers. Learn more here.

Now go forth (and dress it up).

Nitty Gritty:

1.8MM: Circulation of USA Today

#1: Rank in terms of US print circulation of USA Today

$0: Typical hotel cost of USA Today

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