High Times Sold to Investor Group | Industry Notes
The Family Handyman ups its rate base, The Atlantic sets another traffic record, and more...
Forty-three years removed from its humble beginnings in a Greenwich Village basement, High Times — the little cannabis magazine that could — has been sold for the first time.
A group of investors including musician Damian Marley have purchased a 60 percent stake in the brand, which includes the monthly magazine, website, and annual Cannabis Cup competition, in a deal reportedly valued at $70 million.
Adam Levin, whose L.A.-based investment firm Oreva Capital spearheaded the acquisition, will take over as CEO.
"To say we are bullish about the opportunities to expand High Times would be an understatement," said Levin in a news release announcing the acquisition. "It has great brand equity and a solid audience base. But I think most would agree it was not executing to its maximum strategic and operational potential under the legacy framework."
With states across the country scrambling to legalize both medicinal and recreational marijuana usage, and legal weed sales poised to top $20 billion in the next five years, according to several estimates, the time appears right to shepherd High Times from its roots as a bastion of counterculture media to a mainstream, multi-channel enterprise.
"When I was in high school I used to grow some herb," added Marley. "I learned to differentiate male from the female plant by reading High Times magazine… It is now an honor to be a part of the High Times legacy that I have been a fan of for so many years."
The company will henceforth operate as High Times Holding Company (HTHC). Get it?
The Family Handyman cuts against the grain…
As most mass-market print magazines continue to slash bloated circulation figures in favor of direct-from-the-consumer revenue, TMBI's The Family Handyman has announced its second rate base increase in the past year.
Effective beginning with the September issue, the 10x frequency home improvement title will up its rate base another 5.7 percent to 1.2 million after beating its rate base for 74 consecutive issues, according to data from the Alliance for Audited Media.
That figure puts it further ahead of other titles in the shelter/home category, including This Old House (950,000), Architectural Digest (800,000), House Beautiful (800,000), and Dwell (350,000), although still far behind Meredith's Better Homes and Gardens (7.6 million) and Martha Stewart Living (2.05 million).
"The appetite for trusted DIY content among our audiences is voracious," said editor-in-chief Gary Wentz in a prepared statement. "Regardless of age or experience level, our audiences of DIY enthusiasts are constantly looking for new ideas and inspiration for their home improvement projects."
The Eddie & Ozzie Awards are now open for entries…
Earn industry-wide recognition for the hard work put in by you or your colleagues by entering the annual Eddie & Ozzie Awards, the only editorial and design competition serving the full breadth of the national magazine industry. Honorees will be recognized at the annual Eddie & Ozzie Awards Luncheon in October as part of the Folio: Show. But act quickly — the entry period closes June 16.
Another record for The Atlantic…
The Atlantic beat its own traffic records again last month, according to data from Omniture, achieving 42.3 million unique visitors to its website, and setting additional records for page views and concurrent visits, according to the company.
"What was especially noteworthy in May is that, in the midst of a punishing news cycle that fueled our journalists to do powerful and impressive coverage of the Washington story, the Atlantic piece that captivated the internet doesn't contain the words Trump, Russia, or covfefe," said The Atlantic president Bob Cohn in a prepared statement.
Indeed, Alex Tizon's engrossing June cover story, published online May 16 under the headline "My Family's Slave," drove consecutive single-day traffic records for TheAtlantic.com on May 16 and 17, drawing 4.4 million and 4.8 million unique visitors, respectively.