B-to-B publisher Schofield Media is shutting down its U.S. operations after "unexpectedly" losing its bank financing. Employees were informed when they came into the office on Monday, July 18.
According to founder Andrew Schofield and group president Brian Reshefksy, the lender (Wells Fargo) gave "no explanation" for the decision. Sources say Schofield had been under pressure from Wells Fargo to refinance its debt.
Schofield and Reshefsky say they are in the middle of negotiations to buy back the U.S. properties, which they say generate $25 million in annual revenue.
The company had several divisions including Schofield Media Chicago, Boston-based RedCoat Publishing, which offered titles such as American Executive and Inside Healthcare, and Ideal Media–which included CTQ Media, an energy division and 100-year-old Beverage World Magazine. Schofield magazines that are currently at the printer won’t be released, according to sources.
Schofield Publishing UK and Schofield Healthcare Media are unaffected, according to Schofield.
British entrepreneur Andrew Schofield founded Schofield Media in 1999 as Schofield Publishing. In 2005, the company received funding from private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson. That same year, the company acquired RedCoat Publishing and three titles from VNU. In 2006, it acquired SB Communications, a London-based publisher of medical journals for the diabetic sector. In 2006 Schofield claimed $40 million in revenue and in 2007 the company was ranked No. 83 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s "Hot 500" list.
Schofield utilized a controversial profile model in which the company created a horizontal business magazine for a trade audience offering case studies and best practices of successful companies in a broadly defined sector and then sold advertising to the suppliers of the companies featured.
"If the objective is to ingratiate your brand deeply with the communities served, this model is too one dimensional for me," said former Penton Media group publisher Teri Mollison about Schofield Media (not including acquisitions such as CTQ and Beverage World) in a FOLIO: profile of the company. "How can any market derive what key trends or ‘hot companies’ are worth reading about when the only criteria to select those companies is which have vendors and distributors who are willing to pony up money to have accolades written about them?"