Old Town helped launch journalist-founded publications including The Colorado Sun, Block Club Chicago and Documented, and has worked with established media companies including Chalkbeat, The Marshall Project and Medium. Old Town also works with media-tech companies including Kinzen and Distributed Media Lab, and with journalism funders including the American Journalism Project and the National Trust for Local News.
Who We Are
Old Town Media was formed in February 2017 by Tom McGeveran and Josh Benson and media operations executive Katherine Lehr.
Tom and Josh are longtime New York-based journalists who got their start at the Peter Kaplan-era New York Observer. The two ultimately ran the paper until they left in 2009 to start a new publication, Capital New York. The bootstrapped local news outfit attracted independent investment and became an important player covering the politics, infrastructure, cultural institutions, and media business in New York City. Capital was acquired in 2013 by Politico, and Tom and Josh stayed on to run it.
They were joined by Katherine, a Politico executive with a specialty in standing up new efforts and coordinating them across the business, marketing, finance, tech, and editorial arms of the company. Under this partnership, Politico broadened its successful program in New York and established new operations in Florida, New Jersey, California, Illinois, and Massachusetts.
Old Town launches and grows new news publications, works with established media companies on revenue and sustainability issues, and partners with journalism-minded tech companies to create solutions for the media industry. Old Town also manages a venture fund for early-stage investments in promising media companies and has helped create new means of capitalizing worthy media projects that are now being replicated in multiple markets.
What People Are Saying
"There would not be a Documented without Old Town Media. They helped us secure our initial funding and have provided crucial advice in our highest and lowest moments."
Mazin Sidahmed, co-founder and editor of Documented
"For any media start-up, the only certainty is uncertainty. That's why having Old Town on your team is a game-changer. The consistent wisdom, bottomless expertise and rock-solid leadership has helped Kinzen stay true to its vision while learning to be agile in the face of every new challenge. Old Town opens doors you didn't know were there and gives you the power to see around the next corner."
Mark Little, founder and CEO of Kinzen
"The folks at Old Town Media don't just advise from a distance. They've mucked right in to help us find and solve problems as we grow a sustainable business model for nonprofit news in West Virginia."
Ken Ward, Jr., senior editor and co-founder of Mountain State Spotlight
"What I love most about OTM is that no issue ever seems to be too big or too small. They have a truly unique ability to keep both detail and big picture, both editorial and business in focus at all times. And as a bonus you learn a lot about teamwork just by watching them work."
Natalia Antelava, co-founder and editor in chief of Coda
“Old Town digs deep into the core of the mission and values and identity of the company to develop actionable plans and strategies. They have a great eye for talent and a talent for helping us nurture our own.”
Katie Couric and John Molner, co-founders of Katie Couric Media
"Tom McGeveran and his Old Town colleagues are incisive and practical. They know the context for building successful media businesses and are remarkably thorough."
Kevin Delaney, co-founder, Quartz and Charter, former managing editor, The Wall Street Journal online