Time4Media, Parenting Titles to Merge with World Publications
Bonnier Magazine Group will merge its newly acquired Time Inc. titles into its World Publications division, said World CEO Terry Snow Thursday. The merged company will publish 40 titles with annual revenues of $350 million. Snow said other plans for the Time Inc. titles include leaving them in New York (World Publications is based in Winter Park, Florida), leaving the existing staff in place and expanding the publications’ digital and events assets.
Following months of speculation, Bonnier, a 200-year-old company with approximately $2.5 billion in annual revenue, emerged this week as the winning bidder on the 18 magazines Time Inc. was selling from its Time4Media and Parenting divisions. Ad Media Partners brokered the deal. The Swedish-based media company bought into the U.S. market in May last year with a 49 percent stake in enthusiast publisher World Publications, which publishes Saveur, Garden Design, Cruising World, Sailing World, Islands, Spa, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Resorts & Great Hotels and other publications.
Neither company disclosed the sale price, but those familiar with the bidding process estimate that is was between $200 million and $300 million.
Snow said the Time Inc. publications, which include Popular Science, Parenting, Field & Stream, Ski, Skiing and the Transworld publications group, will complement World’s existing magazines, as well as help the company enter markets it does not currently serve. “There’s good synergy between their marine titles and ours,” he said. “They’ve been competitors of ours for a while so it’s nice to have them on the same team. The ski magazines are seasonal and we have some summer magazines so that will give us a nice counter-seasonal market. And the Parenting group is going to take us into a whole new market, which is nice because if you stay too focused on one area, pretty soon you run out of titles.”
World Publications plans to leave the Time Inc. magazines in New York, but may move some of their administrative functions down to its Winter Park, Florida headquarters, Snow said. He said the employees will remain in place, as well, he said. Although the details of whether Time4Media’s senior management such as president Tom Beusse will come on-board still have to be worked out, Snow said.
Snow said he believes World Publications will be able to devote more resources to build out the online and event offerings of its new publications than Time Inc. was able to. “I think just the nature of us being smaller will allow us to move a little faster in that respect,” he said. “With Time Inc., you have priorities that start with the big magazines and go down to the small. We’re a flatter organization. We’re a lot more entrepreneurial than a larger company is, so they’ll get a lot of resources from us that they couldn’t at Time Inc.”
Immediate plans, Snow said, calls for meeting the staffs of the magazines and finding out their needs. “We’re in learning mode,” he said. “Our goal is to build out the multimedia approach to all titles, which some are in need of more than others. I know Popular Science has a very good, robust Web site. So that’s a market you want to keep feeding on the digital side. But for some titles in our company and some of the Time Inc. titles, a digital build-out is not necessarily needed. It might be events that are needed. Either way, we will expand rapidly.”