Interweave Announces Acquisition of American Artist, Drawing, Watercolor, and Workshop Magazines from Nielsen Business Media

Interweave’s acquisition of the oldest, continuously published magazine for painters and three related publications expands its footprint into arts media, entering the drawing and painting markets for the first time

Interweave, one of the nation’s leading art and craft media companies with businesses in magazine and book publishing, online media, television and video programming, and events for craft enthusiasts, announced today it has completed the acquisition of American Artist, Drawing, Watercolor, and Workshop magazines from Nielsen Business Media. The acquisition includes special interest publications, custom publishing operations, a video platform, e-newsletters, and the popular website www.myamericanartist.com. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We’re more than enthusiastic about the opportunities this acquisition offers. American Artist is a terrific brand in a dynamic and growing community. We look forward to serving their loyal readers, as well as attracting new subscribers,” says David Pyle, Vice President and Publisher for Interweave’s Bead, Gem, and Jewelry Division, which will now be regrouped as the Art and Jewelry Division under Pyle’s direction. Pyle will also become Group Publisher of American Artist, Drawing, Watercolor, and Workshop.

Pyle is familiar with American Artist and the art market, having been Group Publisher of The Artist’s Magazine at F+W Publications. Pyle joined Interweave in April and has 25 years experience in the arts and art materials markets, including a number of marketing management positions at arts materials manufacturers Winsor & Netwon, and Liquitex.

“American Artist is a venerable brand and we believe it will be best positioned for sustained growth as part of a company specializing in publishing geared towards art enthusiasts,” said Greg Farrar, President of Nielsen Business Media. “As one of the nation’s largest craft media companies, Interweave is ideally suited to capitalize on the potential of the American Artist.”

Clay B. Hall, Chief Executive Officer of Aspire Media, Interweave’s parent company, says, “These four magazines and their franchises are a great expansion upon Interweave’s current portfolio, including Fiberarts and Jewelry Artist, two of the premier magazines for fiber and jewelry artists. We are eager to begin offering advertising and marketing clients access to our expanded magazine portfolio and other cross-media platforms. Our mission is to inspire, encourage and support creative self-expression through art and craft media. Our strategy is to build multi-media platforms around strong magazine franchises. Clearly, American Artist and its related publications fit like a glove with both our mission and business strategy.”

Interweave’s franchises now include six magazines for artists, 11 magazines for craft enthusiasts, and one trade publication. Each publication will be sold separately to subscribers, but Interweave will be able to sell them in packages to advertisers which will also encompass advertising and sponsorship opportunities around events, television, e-mail newsletters, web sites, and directories (both online and print).

American Artist will maintain its editorial, design and ad sales in New York. All of the staff who have been directly involved with the franchise under Nielsen’s ownership will continue under Interweave’s ownership. About Interweave

Interweave, a unit of Aspire Media, is one of the nation’s leading art and craft media companies, with businesses in magazine and book publishing, online media, television and video programming, directories, and events for arts and craft enthusiasts. The Interweave Press Publishing Group features 18 subscription magazines and many more special interest newsstand publications. Interweave has more than 250 books in print and annually publishes about 40 how-to craft books on the same subjects as the company’s magazines. Additionally, Interweave operates six annual craft enthusiast events and has an extensive Internet presence that includes nearly 30 websites and daily e-mail newsletters.

Linda Ligon founded the company in the 1970s when she began publishing Handwoven and Spin-Off magazines. Since then, the company has grown to employ more than 100 people throughout the country, with corporate headquarters located in Loveland, Colo. For more information on Interweave, visit www.interweave.com or call (970) 669-7672.

About Aspire Media LLC

Aspire Media is a multiplatform enthusiast media company and an acquirer and operator of consumer enthusiast media. Aspire was founded by Clay B. Hall, an experienced publishing professional and former owner-operator of enthusiast magazines, with the backing of private equity firms Frontenac Company and Catalyst Investors. Aspire is actively pursuing acquisitions of enthusiast media companies that impart “how-to,” “where-to,” and “when-to” information to participants involved in crafts, hobbies, and certain other special interests. For more information on Aspire Media, please visit aspire-media.com or call (970) 613-6628.

About The Nielsen Company

American Artist was published by Nielsen Business Media, Inc., part of The Nielsen Company. The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), online intelligence (NetRatings and BuzzMetrics), trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA. For more information, please visit, www.nielsen.com.

Growth in the Art and Drawing Category

The 2008 Craft and Hobby Association Attitude and Usage survey shows the Art and Drawing category is up 24.7% over 2007, and that Art and Drawing is the fastest-growing hobby in the study. The study showed that at least 1 person in 10.4% of US households—or 18.2% of crafting households (that universe is approximately 63.2M)—is engaged in the use of art and drawing products.

In 2004, there was a study done by Prudential Insurance attempting to identify the planned retirement activities of over 55’s. The results found:

  • 9% plan to write a novel
  • 11% want to play more
  • 14% plan to take up painting

(Prudential Insurance, CIAR Consumer Omnibus study, 2004)

Contact publicist Jaime Guthals at JaimeG@interweave.com or (502) 387- 2383 for additional statistics on the art and drawing community.

SOURCE: INTERWEAVE

WEBSITES:
www.myamericanartist.com
www.interweave.com
www.aspire-media.com
www.nielsenbusinessmedia.com

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