Magazines have been crushed in recent years by reader’s preference for digital over print, where advertising is both less lucrative and dominated by tech companies.
Charles Whitaker, the dean of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, said that by purchasing Time Inc., Meredith had been “wildly optimistic about the extent to which the acquisition of these brands would create these savings. scale and those synergies that would help them get by. outside of the Googles and Facebooks of the world.
He added: “This continued consolidation is obviously troubling. The more competition there is and the more companies we have producing content, offering jobs and attractive to the public, the better for the industry.
Meredith shrank considerably in the years following her purchase of Time Inc., shedding three major Time Inc. titles that did not fit the company’s specialty: style, fashion magazines. , celebrity news and housekeeping.
The flagship Time magazine went to Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, and his wife, Lynne, for $ 190 million later in 2018. The company also sold Fortune, for $ 150 million, to Chatchaval Jiaravanon, a descendant of a prominent Thai. family, and Sports Illustrated, for $ 110 million, to Authentic Brands Group. (ABG then sold Sports Illustrated to TheMaven, which last month rebranded itself as Arena Group.)
Meredith also sold another asset she had picked up under the Time Inc. deal – Time Inc. UK, publisher of Woman’s Weekly and Wallpaper magazines – to London-based private equity firm Epiris for a fee. of $ 167 million. In June, Meredith announced the sale of its local media properties, which included 17 TV stations in Atlanta, Phoenix and other markets, to Gray Television in a $ 2.8 billion deal.
If the planned merger goes through, Dotdash Meredith will be one of the top 10 publishers in terms of audience size, according to Internet measurement service Comscore, the companies said.