02 Jan Duke Magazine Profiles Alumni Dan Abrams
At the request of his alma mater, Dan Abrams recently sat down with Duke Magazine contributor Steve Miller to discuss Mediaite, Law&Crime and his other media ventures. The interview illustrates how Dan has become what Duke Magazine calls a “Television news star and founder of his own news empire.”
Abrams and Miller touched on many different aspects of running a business, but in Dan’s words, “Sleep, exercise and aggressive dental care are the three things I think you’ve gotta have to succeed.” His company, Abrams Media, operates Mediaite and the Raiders family of liquor-review websites. Dan also founded The Law&Crime Network, a true crime and legal content company boasting over 3 billion views and 5 million YouTube subscribers. The network was recently acquired by Jellysmack (a video content startup) in a deal that values L&C at a reported “nine figures”.
The interview naturally moved into how Dan got his start in the media and entrepreneurial spaces, and as a Duke graduate himself, Dan reflected on what his time in North Carolina meant to him.
“When it came time for college, ‘I wanted to get out of the northeast and I liked the idea of going to what I viewed as a southern school,’ Abrams says. Duke’s political science department fed Abrams’ love of the governmental process. “I had a professor, James David Barber, and he was a big deal when I was there,” Abrams recalls. “I liked the fact that he was successful, and he had shown that his words and his thoughts and his ideas influenced others”.
Post college, Dan found himself studying at Columbia Law School where an encounter with an old classmate from Duke who was currently working as a reporter changed his career trajectory for good. “She was telling me about the sorts of stories she covered and what she did, and I was thinking, ‘Maybe I’m in the wrong place.’” Dan finished his studies at Columbia and received his law degree, but instead of becoming a practicing lawyer Dan decided to go in another direction and he took a job as a legal correspondent at Court TV.
From there, Dan grew his career in the media eventually opening multiple businesses of his own including a news media website and a legal television channel . While going out on his own was risky, Abrams knows “you have to be willing to give something up and not do the safe thing” if you want to succeed in entrepreneurship.
You can read the full piece on Dan in Duke Mag here.