Dennis U.S. For Sale
A spokesman for Dennis declined to comment fully, noting that "rumors" of this nature have circulated before and he doesn’t comment on rumors. Meanwhile, New York-based entertainment and media investment bank Allen & Company has been retained to represent Dennis in the deal.
Evidence points to a slowdown for the category, which could mean Dennis is getting out at just the right time. Nine-year-old Maxim is down 34 percent in revenue for the first two months of 2006, Stuff is down 2 percent, and rival FHM is down 40 percent, per PIB.
However, 2005 wasn’t so bad, with revenues managing to creep up over 2004. FHM–at 1.3 million circulation–gained 12 percent in revenue to $88.6 million in 2005 over 2004, per PIB, and about 3 percent in pages. The 2.5 million circulation Maxim increased four percent in revenue to $194 million for the same period with a six percent decline in pages. Likewise, Stuff gained five percent in 2005 at $69 million, pages were flat with a 2.5 percent decline.
Blender has been faring much better, coming off a 21 percent jump in 2005 revenues to $41.6 million, which followed a 51 percent revenue boost in 2004.
"I don’t think it’s reflective of the category at all," says Amie Deutch, associate publisher at FHM, "we had the best year ever, over 900 ad pages up."
I would look at this in terms of audience and reader acquisition. In its heyday, Maxim was selling 900,000 at newsstand, now it’s at 500,000 at newsstand and their ratebase is still 2.5 million. I can’t imagine the financial burden of replacing newsstand with subs," says Deutch.
Apparently, Dennis will hold on to The Week, which has been climbing steadily in revenues and circulation and is projected to reach profitability this year.