Open Sky Media Acquires Marin Magazine
Publisher looks to add five to seven city and regional titles over time.
Marin magazine and its accompanying Web and e-commerce sites have been acquired by Open Sky Media, a portfolio company of private equity firm Hadley Capital. Open Sky has been on an acquisitive binge since forming in March.
‚ÄúPart of what attracted us to Marin is that the brand is well-developed digitally,‚ÄĚ with an ‚Äúearly presence in mobile,‚ÄĚ says Open Sky chairman Paul Wormley.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed and Wormley declined to provide further details.
Wormley says that, while it may be a bit of a contrarian view, he is optimistic about the city and regional magazine space. ‚ÄúWe view it as a local market play. Other segments of local continue to be healthy. Magazines provide relevant content, and a level of coverage that isn‚Äôt available of the same quality [just] on the Internet.‚ÄĚ He says he hopes that Open Sky‚Äôs brands will have a strong digital presence, providing a ‚Äúgateway to the print product.‚ÄĚ
The company‚ÄĒwhich formed in March when it acquired titles Austin Monthly, Austin Monthly Home, and San Antonio magazine from Wisconsin-based Conley Publishing Group‚ÄĒis looking to have a portfolio of ten to twelve titles over time. In August, the company acquired Slice magazine, which serves the greater Oklahoma City area. ‚ÄúAt the group level, our goal is to continue to add in good markets with strong demographics.‚ÄĚ
Co-founders Nikki and Jim Wood will stay on with Marin magazine, while co-founder and publisher Lisa Shanower plans to move on to pursuits in the digital arena.
Kim Mac Leod, president of Regional Media Advisors, the firm that represented Marin in the deal, expresses a similar optimism for the city & regional magazine space, despite the unprecedented hit it took as a result of the housing market‚Äôs plummet. ‚Äú2012 is going to be much more stable,‚ÄĚ she says. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre starting to see the M & A market picking up. We‚Äôve been very busy in 2011, and we‚Äôre seeing more transactions coming in 2012.‚ÄĚ