Business Insider’s Graham Flanagan visited the TFM Headquarters two weeks ago to interview three Grandex staff members: Co-Founder and CEO Madison Wickham, Senior Writer Rob Fox, and yours truly. Set up in our conference room, he asked us about the company’s origin, the websites’ voices, the Rowdy Gentleman apparel brand, and the roles each of us play to keep this “media empire” churning–a phrase coined by Senior Reporter Alyson Shontell of Business Insider. The phrase appears in the title of her piece, and it’s the greatest title these eyes have ever scene: “Meet the Genius Frat Dudes Who Turned Bro Humor Into A Multi-Million Dollar Media Empire.”
And how did this media empire come to be? Shontell includes some backstory: two fraternity brothers and a popular, three-word phrase often tossed around the halls of the fraternity house.
Young and Wickham had been brothers in the Kappa Alpha fraternity before graduating in 2007. While they were in school, a catchphrase caught on: “Total frat move.” Brothers said it whenever they told ridiculous stories about girls, drinking, and college.
Young had seen other acronyms — such as FML (F–k My Life) and TFLN (Texts From Last Night) — explode on the Internet. He thought TFM had similar potential.
That was it; the whole idea was right there.
Included in the article is this recently unearthed photo dating back nearly a decade, featuring Grandex Co-Founders Ryan Young and Madison Wickham, posing with their bright, young future director of content:
Shontell goes into the company’s growth, finding and maintaining the TFM brand, the current company structure, and the fruits of close to four years of hard work. She even mentions the naysayers and what they have to naysay about, touching on sexism, classism, and sexually explicit material.
A recent lead story on Total Frat Move showed two women kissing. The headline: “Playboy Models Make Their Own ‘First Kiss’ Video, It’s Astoundingly Boner Provoking.”
Wickham says the sexually explicit material hardly appears on Total Sorority Move and Post Grad Problems. He says it’s rare on Total Frat Move, most content being “PG-13 and below.”
Other content published by Grandex has been criticized as racist, sexist, and classist.
And a whole lot more. It’s truly a great, informative read, so READ IT NOW.
[via Business Insider]