Meredith moves to sell Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated titles — sources

Meredith Corp Chief Executive Stephen Lacy speaks during an interview with Reuters in New York on March 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)
Updated 16 March 2018
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Meredith moves to sell Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated titles — sources

NEW YORK: US media company Meredith Corp. has hired advisers to explore a sale of its Time, Fortune, Money and Sports Illustrated magazines following its $1.84 billion acquisition of Time Inc. in January, people familiar with the matter said.
The move illustrates how Meredith sees some of Time Inc’s titles that attract primarily male readership as not playing to its core strength in women’s magazines, which include Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle and Martha Stewart Living.
The Des Moines, Iowa-based company has tapped investment banks Citigroup Inc. and Houlihan Lokey Inc. to find potential buyers for the magazines, the sources said this week. There is no certainty that a divestiture will occur, the sources added.
While it’s possible that media, telecommunications or technology companies could express an interest in the magazines, a sale to wealthy individuals, such as philanthropists or billionaires, is viewed by Meredith as more likely, according to one of the sources.
The sources asked not to be identified because details of the sale process are confidential. Citigroup declined to comment, while Houlihan Lokey did not immediately return a request for comment.
“We are in fact exploring a number of additional changes to the (magazine) portfolio, including divestitures of brands and businesses that might perform better under a different owner,” Meredith CEO Steven Lacy told investors at a Deutsche Bank conference earlier this month.
Time Inc. referred calls to Meredith, which declined to comment beyond reiterating that the company is reviewing its portfolio.
It was not clear how much the magazines could be worth. Fortune and Money generated more than $20 million in 12-month earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBIDTA), while Time generated more than $30 million in 12-month EBITDA, according to one of the people.
The potential divestitures underscore how Time Inc’s primary attraction for Meredith was building scale in digital advertising. With its roots in traditional publishing, Meredith has been in a fierce competitive online race against Internet giants such as Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc. for consumer eyeballs and advertising dollars.
The deal with Time Inc. expanded Meredith’s reach with Internet-savvy millennials, creating a digital media business with 170 million monthly unique visitors in the United States and more than 10 billion annual video views.
Meredith’s acquisition of Time Inc. was aided by a $650 million investment from the private equity arm of Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers known for championing conservative political causes.


SRMG announces soft launch of IndependentUrdu.com

Updated 23 April 2019
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SRMG announces soft launch of IndependentUrdu.com

  • Baker Atyani appointed editor in chief
  • Website is part of third phase of project to launch The Independent in Arabic, Turkish, Urdu and Persian

RIYADH: The Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) has announced the soft launch of www.independenturdu.com.
The website is part of the third phase of the SRMG’s project to launch The Independent in Arabic, Turkish, Urdu and Persian, under a licensing agreement that was signed and announced last year with the British publisher of The Independent.
The SRMG also announced the appointment of veteran journalist Baker Atyani as editor in chief of Independent Urdu. This is in addition to his current position as Asia bureau chief for Arab News.
A group of well-known and experienced journalists has already joined the project and is working in its offices in Islamabad.
Atyani has extensive experience as a journalist, political analyst and TV producer, and is very well versed in Asian current affairs.
SRMG Chairman Abdulrahman Alrowaita said: “The launch of independenturdu.com stands as the third phase of our multilingual project with The Independent.”
He added: “We are so eager to have the new website … attract a wider readership in the Urdu language to read diversified, highly professional content.”
He expressed hope that with this project, “the media industry and content creation will be enriched in our region and the world.”