Real Estate Media, a Schein family business, was sold to Wasserstein’s U.S. Equity Partners fund in 1999. In 2005, the company was folded into American Lawyer Media, also under U.S. Equity Partners management, in a $25 million deal. "That’s all fine and good but at the end of the day I needed to run my own show," says Schein, who stayed on for another year to manage the transition into ALM. "I had worked with it and lived with it and you don’t walk away and say, OK, the merger happened, bye.’"
With the transition complete, Schein turned his attention to his new company. While there’s no specific fund behind the start-up, he’s got a group of independent investors supporting him that will provide funding on an as-needed basis. "I have investors in place when needed," says Schein. "People think it’s just my family, but it’s outside the family."
Plans call for acquisition and organic-based growth, with expansion into Web and event products. Schein will look at consumer-oriented properties in the $1 million range with a goal of being a $5 million to $10 million company 24-36 months out.
His first acquisition, a pair of real estate magazines based in New York’s Hudson Valley, has already closed. Luminary Publishing, represented by W.B. Grimes & Company, sold UpstateHouse and MetroHouse, two consumer titles with a split circulation of 40,000 in the green and sustainable living market. The editorial model is something Schein says he’d like to repeat in other non-urban regions. "If you look at the editorial, which talks about sustainable living, they’re not just doing it in Westchester, it’s something that’s happening all over the country."