|Key people||Mark Bisnow, Chariman; Ryan Begelman, CEO; Elliott Bisnow, Vice Chairman|
Bisnow Media is a digital media, live events, and education company based in Washington, DC, and New York City. As of 2014, it publishes email newsletters across 25 North American cities and produces approximately 250 events a year attracting over 55,000 attendees. It has 75 full-time employees and a subscriber base of over 500,000. Its publications have been described as a cross between People Magazine and Business Insider, and "Brangelinas for the commerce class." Its events are intended to be faster-paced and livelier than other business events.
Although it publishes about other industries as well, it has calculated itself to be the largest commercial real estate publication and events producer in North America.
The company was founded in 2005 by Mark Bisnow, a DC lawyer, business executive, and radio talk show host, who had become known for irreverent "Bisnow on Business" radio spots on the local all-news station and active involvement in local business organizations and philanthropies. He said he wanted to take advantage of the new economics and reading habits of the Internet age to provide timelier, lighter, and more personality-focused news fare than traditionally available, and deliver it to niche business audiences. With the motto "(Almost) Never Boring," it even employs humorists.
Bisnow started his e-newsletters in DC in such sectors as commercial real estate, legal, tech, and association/non-profit, all of which are still published, and later added dining and social publications. In 2005, with the help of son Elliott Bisnow, the company redesigned the format of the newsletters, and in 2008 began to expand publication and events into other markets, starting with New York City. All activity outside DC, however, is devoted exclusively to commercial real estate.
In 2013, Mark Bisnow became chairman and turned over the CEO position to longtime company COO Ryan Begelman. Son Elliott, named by Inc. Magazine as one of the 30 Under 30 Coolest Entrepreneurs in America in 2009, left the company that year to start his own company, Summit Series, but remains vice chairman and helps to apply to Bisnow Media's older cohort the lessons he has learned at his organization, which has been dubbed by Forbes "A Hipper Davos," by Wired Magazine "TED Meets Burning Man," and by Bloomberg/Business Week "Sun Valley for the Zynga Generation."
The company has continued to diversify its products. In 2012, Begelman was instrumental in introducing its Escape series, which gathers top commercial real estate owners, developers, and financiers for national multi-day retreats. These invite-only programs have featured not only real estate discussions, but interpersonal bonding activities as varied as meditation, martial arts, and jetpacking, as well as interactions with experts on such topics as the arts, philanthropy, relationships, technology, and futurism. In 2013, Bisnow partnered with Wharton School real estate program founder Peter Linneman to launch a video education series. Also in 2013, Bisnow launched partnerships with DC-based WTOP, the nation’s highest revenue-grossing radio station, to provide Bisnow’s social and dining coverage to the station’s large audience in the Washington region, reporting that is overseen by Margot Machol, a former Federal Trade Commissioner. In 2014, a sister entity, Bisnow Ventures, launched an educational program on entrepreneurship for high school students named “Gen Z,” run by Bisnow's former president, Doug Anderson.  And Bisnow has announced it is hosting an Under 40 version of its Escape series called "Ascent," the first event of which is scheduled for November, 2014.