Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

06/03/2010

Will Potential Newsweek Buyers Be Good Enough?

Filed under: Newsweek buyers,Newsweek for sale — gator1965 @ 1:46 pm

Several buyers for the choking Newsweek magazine have expressed interest AND guess what? NewsMax Media is one of them! We do NOT need a Fox news type magazine spewing half truths to support hidden agendas that don’t work. IF NewsMax is the successful buyer of Newsweek, you can kiss this venerable magazine goodbye!


More on the potential buyers of Newsweek by Jason Fell (pictured at left) of FOLIO magazine:

Several parties have submitted official declarations of interest to the Washington Post Company in regard to a potential acquisition of ailing Newsweek magazine. Although a company spokesperson declined to say exactly how many notifications were submitted prior to Wednesday’s deadline, Newsmax Media, private equity firm OpenGate Capital and Ritchie Capital Management founder Thane Ritchie all confirmed separately that they were among those that did.

In a statement e-mailed to FOLIO:, conservative monthly Newsmax confirmed its contact with the Washington Post Co., stating that its interest in acquiring Newsweek “is congruent with its objective to diversify and expand into numerous distinct media brand offerings.” Newsmax said that if its bid is successful it would not shut liberal-leaning Newsweek down. “Newsweek’s staff, advertisers and readers can be assured that … [the magazine’s] stellar brand and editorial representation would remain distinct from our other brands.”

John’s Note: Do NOT believe the previous paragraph under ANY circumstances!

Also among those who submitted a formal declaration is private equity manager Thane Ritchie, his spokesperson said in an e-mail. Last year, Ritchie unsuccessfully attempted to acquire the Sun Times Media Group.

And according to the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles-based private equity firm OpenGate Capital is in the mix for Newsweek, too. OpenGate managing partner Andrew Nikou, who indicated to FOLIO: several weeks ago that the firm would be making a bid for Newsweek, did not immediately return a request seeking comment.

OpenGate is arguably most noted for acquiring the print edition of TV Guide from Macrovision in 2008 for just $1. Since then, the firm has been active in 2010, announcing three additional acquisitions through April.

Others who may also have contacted the Washington Post Co., including editor-in-chief John Meacham and entertainment industry billionaire Haim Saban, could not be reached for comment.

The Washington Post Co. said last month that it had hired media and entertainment investment bankers Allen & Company to explore a sale of ailing Newsweek, which is expected to continue losing money this year. In 2009, Washington Post Co.’s magazine division, (which also included Budget Travel, until it sold in December) reported an operating loss of $29.3 million.

Presumably, the next step is for the interested parties to sign non-disclosure agreements in order to take a deeper look at Newsweek’s business.

05/05/2010

Newsweek Put on the Block!



I enjoy the hell out of Newsweek consistently. I will miss this great news mag! AND their website, as well! Tell me, where are the people going to read good, in-depth stories sprinkled with humor when the need arises? Where will Howard Fineman go? I LIKE HOWARD!

Anyway, the Washington Post Company is searching for buyers for Newsweek and IF I had the moolah I would buy it myself…

Jason Fell of FOLIO Magazine reported this:

The Washington Post Company has put Newsweek magazine on the block. The newspaper publisher said today that it has retained Allen & Company to explore a potential sale.

“The losses at Newsweek in 2007 to 2009 are a matter of record. Despite heroic efforts on the part of Newsweek’s management and staff, we expect it to still lose money in 2010,” Washington Post Co. chairman Donald E. Graham says in a statement. “We are exploring all options to fix that problem. Newsweek is a lively, important magazine and website, and in the current climate, it might be a better fit elsewhere.”

Advertising pages at Newsweek declined 20.4 percent through the first quarter of 2010according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. Through 2009, pages were down 25.9 percent.

Last year, Newsweek’s overall paid and verified circulation fell 27 percent, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Newsstand sales plummeted more than 40percent to 62,257 copies.

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