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Senior Editor

Pub Talk

By James Sturdivant

About James

 

Media Vent

Bob Sacks
Stats on Magazine Launches Are Irrelevant & Misleading
Jul 2, 2015

My friend Samir Husni has penned a short essay and complaint about "numbers" used in our industry for purposes of...



Marketing Services Lab

The Marketing Services Lab
3 Ways To Tell The Content Marketing Boom Spells Revenue Growth for Publishers
Jun 30, 2015

Last week Publishing Executive announced the launch of the Publishing & Media Labthat we will host at the 2015 Content Marketing World conference this...



Publishers' Dojo

Linda Ruth
Miniaturize & Simplify, Solutions to Publishers' Mobile Problem
Jun 15, 2015

As many publishers have found, providing a magazine experience on a mobile app and getting people to engage with it...



B2B Beat

Andy Kowl
Content is Money
Jun 12, 2015

Most of the publishing world says Content is King. The publishers at SIPA say Content is Money. The annual conference...



Industry Insiders

The Insiders
Apple Throws Publishers Another Curve Ball
Jun 9, 2015

The relationship between Apple and the magazine publishing industry has been acrimonious since the launch of the iPad in 2010...



The Digital Market

Thea Selby
4 Takeaways from the New Apple App Analytics
May 26, 2015

One of the lesser-known facts about magazine apps is that publishers can glean very little information about them and how...



Have We Seen the End of the Big Media Play?

 

Buried in a recent press release from investment bank The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. is a brief overview of mergers and acquisitions activity in the consumer magazine space. Brief, because there's not much to tell—at least from a value standpoint.

"The consumer magazines sector saw a 34% increase in number of deals, but a sharp decline in deal value, as there were no $100+ million transactions in this sector in 2012," the release states. "Throughout the year, acquisitions in this sector were primarily of small publishing companies and individual magazines."

It's hard to imagine this situation changing any time soon. The magazine and newspaper giants are trying to hold their own, with Time-Warner and News Corp. seeing losses in their publication sectors offset by profits elsewhere. News Corp. is, in fact, spinning off its publications division in order to make its TV and other media properties (to be renamed the "Fox Group") more attractive to investors. It does not exactly point to a tasty buyers market for storied brands like Time, The New York Post or Sports Illustrated.

Gone are the days of mass consolidation in newspapers and magazines; the global expansion (the Hearst-Lagardere deal of 2011 is likely the last of its kind); the liquidity enabled by high-profit-margin media enterprises. There were rumors a few weeks back of Bloomberg buying the Financial Times, but it hasn't happened. It probably won't (though the Nieman Lab's Ken Doctor predicts 2013 will be the year of "Trophy Newspapers," by which he means Warren Buffett-style rescues of storied broadsheets at bargain-basement rates).

On the other hand, there is that increasing M&A activity among small, niche publishers. JEGI cites as one example Modern Luxury's acquisition of Aspen Magazine from Ridge Publications. This is where we can expect future growth to occur.

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