Townsquare Media Buys XXL, Kills Print Mag
Building toward an experiential model.
Townsquare Media is bolstering its publishing portfolio with the acquisition of XXL, a hip hop title previously owned by Harris Publications. Two smaller brands, King and Antenna, were also included in the deal.
Terms weren’t released.
Townsquare says it’ll retain all 12 of XXL’s employees, but it’s getting rid of the bimonthly print magazine. Next month’s issue will be its last. While up-to-date circulation figures aren’t available, various estimates put the magazine above 130,000 readers.
King is also going digital-only, though some of its staff will be laid off.
For Townsquare—a media and marketing group that boasts a stable of 300-plus local radio stations and close to 500 live events and concerts—the deal offers scale both for ad partners and its own marketing efforts. XXL brings 1.3 million monthly unique visitors and an engaged social audience.
"We look forward to growing the XXL brand as we have with our brands like Taste of Country in which not only have we created the leading online destination for country music fans but also a 5-hour nightly radio broadcast and numerous Taste of Country branded live events and music festivals," Townsquare’s chief content officer, Bill Wilson, tells FOLIO:.
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The XXL acquisition is the company’s latest step in building toward the Taste of Country model in other music markets. Townsquare bought a series of music sites from AOL last year.
The move to end print for XXL comes just two weeks after Spin did the same thing to Vibe—another big-name urban music magazine. Wilson is leaving the door open to SIPs and other one-off print projects in the future though.
Townsquare held an IPO in July, raising more than $90 million at $11 per share. TSQ is currently trading at 11.70.