February 2007

The Dealmakers of 2006

By all accounts, 2006 was a year for the record books when it came to magazine publishing company M&A.

Better Board Relations

In Folio:'s first-ever association magazine survey [December 2006, page 26], respondents said working with their board of directors is a challenge. Politics, lack of publishing knowledge and editorial micromanagement featured high in responses. While stressful board relations may not be...

Working Through the Web Staff Puzzle

Online content development, design, and hosting is more complex than ever. What's IT's role? Editorial's? Who updates content? Where do ads go?

Franchise Issues We Love (And Some We Don’t)

Men may love sports, but if the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is any indication, they love women in bikinis a whole lot more. The annual issue, which comes out every February, outsells regular copies of the magazine on the...

Consumer Mags Online: Real Strategy or Band-Aid?

When Emap announced last December that it would shutter the U.S. version of FHM due to a perceived lack of future ad growth, it also said it would retain its Web presence, replacing companion Web site fhmus.com with fhmonline.com. "I...

Taking the Next Step with Web Design

As the industry moves deeper into so-called "Web 2.0," the role of the Web site is changing. By now we all know it's a cardinal sin to just regurgitate magazine content on the Web site, or look to the Web...

The Repositioning Rulebook

When Peggy Walker took over as president and COO of Vance Publishing in April 2005, it was a time of big changes for the company. As with many publishers, the brutal ad recession of 2001-2004 forced Vance to re-evaluate the...

The Acquisition Experience

While there are certain guidelines to conducting successful acquisition integration, there is no standard template. Each deal brings unique challenges. Folio: spoke with publishing executives on how they dealt with issues that didn't come up in due diligence.


CondeNet Buyer: CondeNetSeller: Lycos, RedditPrice: $25 million (Wirednews.com)When: July (Wirednews.com), November (Reddit)Takeaway: CondeNet finally reunites the print and digital arms of the Wired brand and bolsters the rest of its online lineup.

Metal Bulletin

Metal Bulletin Buyer: Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC Seller: Metal Bulletin PLCPrice: $408 million Date: OctoberTakeaway: Euromoney dished out $408 million, the ninth largest payout for an acquisition last year, according to media bankers DeSilva + Phillips.

Penton (Prism)

Penton (Prism) Buyer: Wasserstein & Co., MidOcean PartnersSeller: ABRY Partners/Public StockholdersPrice: $530 millionDate: NovemberTakeaway: Two b-to-b publishers with solid individual brands but poor corporate track records get the chance to start anew.


Primedia Sold: Gems Group, Crafts Group, Hunting, Fishing and Shooting AssetsBuyer: VariousPrice: $300 million total (estimated) Date: VariousTakeaway: The deconstruction of publishing behemoth Primedia picks up speed.

Data Merge

Publishers chasing new revenue opportunities have traditionally launched new products to take advantage of niches within their target markets. As time goes by and these products multiply, determining common attributes among the customers these products serve becomes more difficult.

Reader’s Digest Association

Reader's Digest Association Buyer: Investment Group led by Ripplewood Holdings LLCSeller: Reader's Digest AssociationSale Price: $2.4 billionDate: Agreement made in November (Pending shareholder approval)Takeaway: A private-equity firm gambles that it can breathe new life into a colossal but fading brand.

Summit Business Media

Summit Business Media Buyer: Summit Business MediaSeller: Pfingsten and HighlinePrice: $100 million, and $90 million. Date: NovemberTakeaway: Former F+W chairman and Primedia founder makes a big splash in b-to-b with a double acquisition and marketshare grab in a private equity-backed...

It’s All in the Name

The first word in magazines is the name on the cover. As a flag leading the editorial and marketing parade, it should be clear, easily pronounceable, memorable, and not confused with other existing names. It should also tell, at a...

The Wicks Group

The Wicks Group Buyer: The Wicks GroupSeller: Vibe Ventures and CMP Technology. Price: $140 million, and $47 million. Date: July and September. Takeaway: Wicks makes two consumer-facing acquisitions that expand its media holdings beyond its medical and business information units.

VNU (Renamed Nielsen)

VNU (Renamed Nielsen) Buyer: Valcon Acquisition B.V. Seller: VNU NV. Price: $11.1 billion. Date: June. Takeaway: One of the largest deals of the year has sparked fundamental changes for the publishing arm, VNU Business Media. Will the company respond or...

The Name Game

Welding Design & Fabrication was not only a mouthful, it was also a trade magazine that was named back in 1959, and the market has changed since then. In the magazine's early days, the welding industry was focused entirely on...

It’s All in the Fine Print

Writing and negotiating custom publishing contracts is about as much fun as going on a diet. It takes discipline and patience but the outcome is worth all the effort. These contracts, of course, are longer and more detailed than insertion...

Face Up: revenue

This Month: revenueIssue: November/December 2006Frequency: BimonthlyLaunched: 2004Circ: 120,000Editor: Lisa PicarillePublisher: Montgomery Media Inc.Art Director: Tamara DyerIllustrator: Aaron Pilanda