Schofield Brands, Employees In Limbo Following Shutdown
Sources say founder looking to revive “profile model.”
Former Schofield Media employees are still wondering if there is a chance that select brands may be revived after the company shut down last week as a result of lender Wells Fargo pulling financing.
The company had several divisions including Schofield Media Chicago, Boston-based RedCoat Publishing, which offered titles such as American Executive and Inside Healthcare, and New York City-based Ideal Media–which included CTQ Media, an energy division and Beverage World Magazine. Brands such as Beverage World remain in a trusteeship at Well Fargo and while founder Andrew Schofield expressed interest in reacquiring those brands, sources say that option is now off the table and Schofield is planning on reviving its "profile model" business.
Employees received no severance but were paid for unused vacation days, according to sources.
"We received an ominous e-mail on Sunday, July 17th that asked us to call in that Monday for a conference call in which we were told the company was being shut down," says a source close to Beverage World.
According to the source, 130-year-old Beverage World was profitable. "It had some challenging years in the recession but had also diversified the platform beyond print to online properties and newsletters and a highly successful conference business. I was shocked when it was mixed in with the rubble. I’ve seen a lot of publications fold throughout the years–most for good reasons, like their market dried up–but Beverage World was still going strong."
The original Schofield plan utilized a controversial profile model in which the company created a horizontal business magazine for a trade audience offering case studies and best practices of successful companies in a broadly defined sector and then sold advertising to the suppliers of the companies featured. The company expanded aggressively in later with acquisitions of dedicated content providers like Beverage World and CTQ Media.
"We made a conscious effort to have editorial control with Beverage World," says the source. "When we were acquired, maybe 20 percent of the magazine had to use the Schofield model, while 80 percent was content-driven. When Beverage World folded, the Schofield model accounted for about 10 percent of the magazine."