Will the Real Summit Media Please Stand Up? (posted 11/21)
Too many companies named Summit Media in the magazine industry are spoiling the broth, says the president of the Summit Media that has been around the longest.
A new publishing company formed by Primedia founder and former F+W chairman Bill Reilly has brought the total number of media companies bearing the name Summit to three. And three's a crowd, says Lloyd Ferguson, president of Summit Publishing and Summit Media, who wants Reilly to stop using the name ASAP.
Ferguson says Reilly's company, Summit Business Media, which combines the properties of the formerly separate Highline Media and Pfingsten Publishing into a single brand, is causing an identity crisis for his joint companies, which publish Packaging World and Automation World. "I've written a letter to Bill Reilly who I've known for a fair amount of time," Ferguson said. "We're waiting to hear back."
But Reilly shrugged off the similarities Tuesday. "We've talked to our lawyers and Summit Publishing and Summit Business Media are two completely different companies," he said. "We don't see a problem. We publish D├ęcor, we haven't sued Elle D├ęcor."
Ferguson said Tuesday, however, that legal action may be pursued if a compromise is not reached. "We don't think that there should be two Summits in ABM," Ferguson said. "We want to see if we can resolve this without going to lawyers. I hope we can."
Reilly, whose new company is backed by private equity firm Wind Point Partners of Chicago, says he expects a fuss may be made over the name, but doesn't believe anything will come of it.
Summit Publishing is 13-year-old company based in Chicago. Its subsidiary, Summit Media, was formed three years ago with the launch Automation World. Reilly is the chairman and CEO of Aurelian Communications, a media acquisition and build-up company. He and Windpoint announced their acquisition of Pfingsten and Highline, both of which have numerous titles in the financial and insurance sectors, November 6.