Yesterday, the big news in the magazine industry was McGraw-Hill‘s decision to put BusinessWeek up for sale. Bloomberg broke the story in the morning, and by the afternoon BusinessWeek‘s own media reporter, Jon Fine, had weighed in.
According to Fine, “McGraw-Hill had held discussions earlier this year with Bloomberg regarding a sale of BusinessWeek,” but the newswire passed. Then Bloomberg became the first news organization to report the sale.
“Industry members and bankers said it was unlikely that Time Warner’s Time Inc., publisher of Fortune, or Forbes would bid for a competitor while facing similar challenges themselves,” FT said. “Among the few groups investing in print media, bankers pointed to Bloomberg, which has recruited new management for an aggressive expansion of its financial magazine, Bloomberg Markets, and Bonnier, which has become a top-10 U.S. publisher through acquisitions…a Bonnier spokesman said it had always favored niche acquisitions. A spokesman for News Corp., owner of the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, said it was not interested in BusinessWeek.”
As the Journal pointed out in its story about the possible sale today, it is not an easy market for business magazines right now. So who, if anyone, is going to step up and buy a flagging BusinessWeek?
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