College Publisher was started in 1999 by three then-Emerson students – Kai Pradel, Karstan Robbins and Jon Block. This innovative software brought Emerson's Berkeley Beacon and Journalism Students' Online News Service to the Internet as the first among what would soon be hundreds of newspapers from across the country.
Within the first two years, many top college newspapers, including the BC Heights, Daily Free Press, Daily Campus, and the GW Hatchet signed up for the service. In 2002, CP merged with Y2M: Youth Media + Marketing Networks to form a true network that merged print and digital advertising opportunities. Advertisers like Ford, Apple and Samsung were among Y2M's top advertisers.
Within two years, more than 250 newspapers utilized College Publisher's services, bringing more than one million subscribers from colleges throughout the country, including Northwestern University, Tufts and the University of Texas at Austin. A 2005 acquisition of New Digital Group welcomed more than 230 additional newspapers to the network. College Publisher version 4.0 was launched to give editors more flexibility over content management and online advertising.
In 2006, Y2M was acquired by mtvU, complementing College Publisher with the network's more than 750 colleges and universities relationships. The acquisition also gave CP access to the advertising sales resources and financial resources of MTV Networks.
Nearly a year later mtvU launched College Media Network with the bold aspirations of building a strong content distribution network to work with and for campus publications and outlets. In the fall of 2008, CP version 5.0 was launched in beta, followed by a larger-scale rollout of the system to a broader number of partners.
Today, CMN is headquartered in New York City's Times Square with some staff still working remotely from Boston.