In a memo to staffers today, Reed Business Information Global CEO Keith Jones revealed a plan to divest a bulk of the company’s U.S. publications. RBI will hold on to Reed Construction Data US & Canada, RS Means, Variety, Marketcast, LA411 and Buyerzone, Jones said. The rest of the U.S. titles will be sold, including Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News.
“We have decided to focus our efforts and investments on a narrower range of brands and markets, and with this in mind we are announcing today our intention to divest a significant part of the RBI US business,” Jones said in his memo. “This has been a difficult decision to reach as there are many strong brands here, with very experienced and professional teams running them, but we have concluded that they are less well suited to RBI’s strategy going forward.”
Jones also added that Tad Smith, CEO of RBI’s U.S. business, has resigned “to pursue a new job challenge.” He will be replaced by EVP and CFO John Poulin, who has been appointed acting CEO.
Jones’ memo is below. We will keep you posted as news develops. And, as always, your tips are welcome.
Update: RBI’s parent Reed Elsevier has put out a statement and a full list of those properties that have been put on the block — nearly 50 publications plus their related international editions and online products. “We have had to contend with a far harsher advertising environment than any of us have experienced before and, in such a climate, we have to focus not just on innovation and efficiency, but also on ensuring that our portfolio is well-matched with our long-term ambitions,” Jones said.