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Acquisitions Build Up Digital Publishers and Platforms

Digital Publishers at American Media acquire Men’s Journal; Snapchat acquires Zenly; Rodale exploring sale

Our news of digital publishers acquiring new media entities continues, but with a few different looks today.

We start with American Media, which has acquired another magazine title from Wenner Media. NY Post reports, “American Media said it will acquire Men’s Journal from Wenner Media, marking the second magazine deal that the two companies have done in recent months.”

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In mid-March AMI said it was buying Us Weekly from Jann Wenner’s company. The deal, which was said to be for $100 million, didn’t close until late April after it cleared inspection by federal regulators.”

The article shared a look at the main reason for the acquisition from the mouth of AMI CEO David Pecker. ““With the acquisition of Men’s Journal, AMI further establishes itself as a premium content producer by adding another respected media brand with a highly engaged audience,” said AMI CEO David Pecker said on Thursday. AMI already owns Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness.”

No terms of the Men’s Journal deal were disclosed but the magazine which was launched in 1992 is a perennial money loser with loss estimates of several million dollars last year.”

Our next story takes a look at a recent statement from digital publishers at Rodale, which shows that the company may be available for sale. Folio: reports, “In a release received by Folio: this afternoon, the company states: “Its Board of Directors has initiated a process to explore a range of potential strategic alternatives to best position its industry-leading properties for the future. The company noted that strategic alternatives may include, but are not limited to, the sale of the company as a whole, the sale of select properties or groups of properties or individual businesses, or the continued implementation of its business plan.”

“This is a pretty significant indicator that more big changes are coming to the health and wellness publisher. The writing has been on the wall for several months. The first indication things were rocky came a couple years back when it shuttered its content marketing division, Rodale Grow. Following that decision there have been leadership changes, layoffs, and other shakeups that included the elimination of ad pages in its digest-size newsstand book Prevention and a total rebranding of Organic Gardening to Organic Life.”

The article concludes with a theoretical view on potential suitors. “Well, this is merely speculation, but AMI could make a play, given it already has a portfolio in the health and wellness completive set. Although, it did just drop a cool $100 million on Us Weekly. So perhaps Meredith would be a more apt player. It not only has complementary brands, but it would also be gaining a new audience segment by acquiring Men’s Health. Not to mention it’s clearly shopping for more brands after it’s reported Time Inc. bid didn’t pan out.”

Our last story look at the popular Snapchat and its recent acquisition, set to help with location-based publishing. TechCrunch reports, “Snapchat’s newest feature, Snap Map, is based on its latest acquisition, social mapping startup Zenly. TechCrunch has learned that Snapchat has bought Zenly for between $250 million and $350 million in mostly cash and some stock in a deal that closed in late May. Snapchat will keep Zenly running independently, similar to how Facebook lets Instagram run independently.”

Because its Snapchat Stories feature is being aggressively copied by Instagram and Facebook’s other apps, Snapchat is wise to expand into the social utility space of helping people meet up offline. Now Snap could own two different apps on people’s home screens.”

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