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Aspire Buys Two Quilting Magazines and a Television Show



By Marrecca Fiore
01/04/2007

Aspire Media's Interweave Press has made two recent acquisitions, including that of PBS television show, Needle Arts Studio. Aspire CEO Clay Hall said in an interview Wednesday that the show, which is carried in 157 markets and distributed to 55 million households nationwide, rounds out Interweave's multiplatformed, direct-marketing model.

The half-hour show, which was previously owned by Shay Pendray, who will continue to produce and host the program, features guests who share tips on knitting, crochet, needlepoint, embroidery and cross-stitch.

Hall says the program will marry well with Interweave's magazines, Web sites, books and events. "With the program, we'll be educating our audiences on knitting, crocheting and other need crafts, and drive them to our Web site to get more information on patterns that they've seen on the show," he said. "Once we get them to our Web site, we'll ask them to opt-in for our free newsletter, in which we'll offer them more free and valuable content and we'll use their contact information to sell them our legacy products like books and magazines."

Although PBS programs do not include advertisements, Hall says his company will market sponsorship opportunities to marketers. "With television, you have a very broad reach," he said. "The bad news is that you don't have the names of the enthusiasts that are watching it. That's why we'll use it to drive people to our Web site, where they'll give us their names and permission to market to them."

Interweave also added to its print offerings this week with the acquisition of Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors magazines and their related books, events and Web sites from Quilting Arts LLC. The terms of both of the television show and print acquisitions were not disclosed.

With the acquisition of the two magazines, Interweave will increase their frequencies from quarterly to bimonthly, Hall said. Already a leader in traditional quilting, Interweave Press will now be able to offer enthusiasts information on contemporary quilting, said Interweave president Marilyn Murphy. "It's a prime opportunity for growth for us in both print and online," she said.

Hall said the publications' founders John and Patricia Bolton will continue to run Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors. "There are a lot of reasons for us to want to acquire publications in these two markets," he said. "And one of them is the affiliation with two of the industries rising stars, John and Patricia Bolton. They both have life-long careers in publishing and we wanted to make sure they partnered with us."

By Marrecca Fiore
01/04/2007







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