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Karlie Kloss and a Kushner Plan to Revive Life Magazine

Santi Visalli/Getty
Santi Visalli/Getty

In a year when news outlets have been shedding staff, getting sold for parts, or shutting down altogether, Joshua Kushner and Karlie Kloss have an idea: resurrect a 141-year-old magazine that’s been dormant for about 20 years.

Kushner and Kloss announced Thursday that they’ve purchased the publishing rights to Life from Dotdash Meredith (currently owned by IAC, which is also parent company to The Daily Beast), with plans to resurrect the magazine’s print and digital publication. The deal was finalized by Bedford Media, a start-up led by Kloss; Kushner, her husband and brother to Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, will serve as publisher.

“LIFE’s legacy lies in its ability to blend culture, current events, and everyday life—highlighting the triumphs, challenges, and unique perspectives that define us,” Kushner wrote in a statement.

The storied outlet first launched in 1883 until then-owner Time Inc. ceased regular publication in 2000. Since then, Life has largely been limited to an occasional special edition and some online-only content.

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Under the deal, Life’s content archives and photography dating back to the 1930s will remain with Dotdash Meredith, which will also publish the magazine’s single-topic special issues. The new venture, however, will manage a revitalized Life’s editorial team and revenue. Kushner and Kloss plan to return the magazine’s print arm to a “regular cadence,” though the company did not clarify how often it would publish.

“We see LIFE as an uplifting and unifying voice in a chaotic media landscape,” Kloss said in a statement. “While Bedford is a new media company, we are deeply inspired by LIFE’s iconic legacy and ability to connect diverse audiences with universal narratives of humanity.”

This marks another top acquisition for Bedford Media. The company bought i-D magazine from Vice last year, though it shut the website down last month, lost its editor-in-chief, and laid off most of its London staff earlier this week, according to Puck.

Launching a media company has proven to be an unpredictable venture in recent years. While there have been success stories in Punchbowl News, Semafor, and Puck, the digital outlet The Messenger—which also touted itself as a return to a journalistic golden age—died after less than a year and now faces lawsuits from multiple staffers.

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