American Media Inc., publisher of magazines such as Star, National Enquirer, Men’s Fitness and Shape, has been rumored to be looking for potential buyers in the past months. However, due to low offers, AMI’s properties may be off the block.
In June, it was initially reported Apollo Management (which holds a majority stake in coated paper maker Verso) showed interested in the media properties, but this interest slowed due to the “[weak] state of the industry.”
Now, according The Wall Street Journal, Apollo fielded an offer lower than expected for AMI. Reportedly, AMI owners “balked” at the suggested selling price from Apollo, and now the publisher is no longer for sale.
According to WSJ.com, AMI is currently valued between $500 and $720 million.
In first half 2011, AMI’s titles saw mixed results in circulation, subscription and single copy sales. Celebrity gossip mag Star saw paid subscriptions increase 12.9 percent, while single copy sales fell from first half 2010’s 530,615 issues to first half 2011’s 442,131 issues sold.
David Leckey, executive vice president of consumer marketing with AMI, says of Star’s sub increase and single issue decline, “It could be a reflection of the economy, with people staying at home. Now, people are subscribing more than buying at the newsstand. We’ve also announced [Star’s] circ will be down to 850,000 in second half, and we anticipate subs stabilizing.”
Accordig to ABC, Country Weekly, which reintroduced a paid subscription model last
May, saw a 809 percent increase in subs, jumping from first half 2010’s
1,343 to first half 2011’s 12,217. Leckey says Country Weekly’s sub numbers are expected to flatten out in second half 2011, resulting in 12-14,000 paid subscriptions.
Other AMI properties faltered in first half 2011. Men’s Fitness subs are down from first half 2010’s 482,095 to first half 2011’s 479,477; single copy sales decreased from January-June 2010’s 99,000 to January-June 2011’s 94,572 issues.
National Enquirer’s subs fell from first half 2010’s 184,538 to first half 2011’s 156,658. Single copy sales also suffered, down from first half 2010’s 542,154 issues sold to first half 2011’s 502,904 sales.