Gemstar-TV Guide On The Block
Gemstar-TV Guide International announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized the company to "explore strategic alternatives," including a possible sale. The company’s stock price rose more than 11 percent to nearly $6 after the announcement.
While Gemstar-TV Guide’s publishing group;the smallest of the company’s three business groups;has taken hits with the shift online, ratebase reductions and the 2005 failure of its celebrity-gossip magazine Inside TV, its overall health seems to have stabilized. The publishing group accounted for 22 percent (or $33.7 million) of Gemstar-TV Guide’s total revenue in the first quarter of 2007, according the company’s 10Q report.
Advertising revenue for TV Guide grew 18.2 percent in the first quarter of 2007, while newsstand revenue was up $2.6 million, although that was due primarily to a reduction in initial placement fees and an increase in the cover price from $1.99 to $2.49.
The publishing group has pushed for several years to develop a cross-platform approach. Earlier this year, TV Guide tapped Debra Birnbaum for the newly created role of executive editor, cross-platform content integration. Birnbaum is tasked with creation and integration of content across the company’s various media platforms including TV Guide, TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com.