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Primedia Unclips Climbing



By Bill Mickey
01/05/2007

Primedia has sold another magazine, this time dipping into its Action Sports Group. Climbing was sold to Skram Media, a New York-based, privately-held company that publishes youth-oriented climbing magazine Urban Climber.

Carbondale, Colorado-based Climbing, a 40,000-circ title published 10 times per year, has been in publication since 1970, covering the various forms of rock climbing and mountaineering. The magazine will continue to be published from its current location with existing staff.

"I was contacted by Primedia in mid-October. They wanted to get rid of the magazine by the end of the calendar year," says Skram Media CEO Mark Crowther. "It wasn't on my mind. We had plans to launch another magazine in fall of 2007, and then this opportunity presented itself."

The deal was signed December 29th. Climbing's Web site, Climbing.com, was included in the sale.

Crowther says funds for the deal were raised via angel investors and that the two titles have minimal overlap. Indeed, the purchase gives Skram Media broad reach across climber demographics. "There's a 12 percent reader overlap at most," he says. "But there's a 95 percent advertiser overlap. Given we're number one in the youth market, we can give advertising a one-stop shop for youth to boomers."

Crowther adds that the average age of the bimonthly Urban Climber is 20 while the average age of Climbing is 36.

Primedia had been selling off entire magazine groups over the course of 2006. In June, it sold the crafts group to Enthusiast Media for $132 million in cash. In September, it sold its gems group to Interweave Press. And in December it sold its hunting, fishing and shooting assets from its outdoors group to Intermedia Partners for $170 million.

Dismissing any notion that the rest of the Action Sports group would be sold, Primedia spokesman Josh Hochberg says, "We've always focused on the 18-34 demographic and certainly ASG fits into that. This is something we've always said that if it's worth more to someone else than it is to us, we have an obligation to our shareholders to explore a sale."

By Bill Mickey
01/05/2007







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