Trade publisher Lebhar-Friedman has sold Dowden Professional Publications to multimedia communications company Quadrant HealthCom Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Included in the deal are Dowden’s four medical journals: OBG Management, Current Psychiatry, The Journal of Family Practice and Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Also included is its events division.
Quadrant president and CEO Stephen Stoneburn told FOLIO: the journals will continue to publish in print, although the publisher is looking to expand each brand further into digital and live event formats. “They’re good journals with good people in all areas of operations, including digital, content development, sales, general management and support,” he said. “In this kind of marketplace, being having more scale, being able to add good assets onto an established operating base and getting consolidation benefits in the process is a good business model and that’s wht we’re achieving.”
According to Lebhar-Friedman president Roger Friedman, the sale allows the publisher to better “concentrate” its media strategies. "It enables us to focus more on products that are not dependant on advertising," Friedman told FOLIO:. "The whole medical field has suffered at least two years worth of declining advertising. There aren’t any ads in any of the Dowden Health Media products we reteained."
UPDATE: In addition to the sale, Friedman said the company over the last three weeks has laid off about two dozen staffers, mostly from editorial and production. Some of its remaining titles also have cut frequency to cut costs. The company recently restructured its sales operation in an effort to separate print salespeople from those who are selling online.
“I don’t think, with rare exception, that people who have been selling print for their entire careers have an easy time adapting to selling online products,” he said. “It’s a whole different ballgame.”
Lebhar-Friedman currently employs between 275 and 300 people, Friedman said. Quadrant said about 30 Dowden Professional Publications staffers are expected to relocate to Quadrant HealthCom Inc.’s headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey.
Quadrant HealthCom publishes nine medical journals and their affiliated Web sites serving a number of markets, including dermatology, primary care, neurology, emergency medicine and women’s health.
Lebhar-Friedman acquired Dowden Health Media in 2005, effectively expanding the company beyond the retail and foodservice markets it had traditionally served. The purchase was financed through GE Commercial Finance Global Media & Communications.
According to its Web site, Dowden Health Media also publishes the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry (American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists), Current Clinical Practice, and Sexuality, Reproduction & Menopause, and produces APCToday.com. Dowden Health Media also includes the Medical Education unit and Dowden Custom Media, which develops and produces custom publications, interactive e-media solutions and live multi-channel events for healthcare organizations.
Last week, Lebhar-Friedman announced leadership changes in both advertising and editorial for its Nation’s Restaurant News publication.