Start the Presses! ‘Access’ Acquires Red 7 Media

Access Intelligence Acquires Red 7 Media

The WOW factor shot across the industry yesterday when it was announced that Access Intelligence, a B-to-B media company and SIPA member in Rockville, Md., acquired Red 7 Media, owner of the Folio, Audience Development and Event Marketer brands, among other event and media holdings. In January, AI (specifically its Dorland Health division) acquired OR Manager, a media brand and event company serving operating room executives, managers and doctors, so 2011 certainly means business for them.

“Bringing AI and Red 7’s media properties together will allow us to go deeper into the community of media professionals,” Diane Schwartz, AI SVP and group publisher, wrote to us in an email. “We serve our audiences in much the same ways—events, online, print, etc. It’s our goal to increase our engagement with our audiences—and events are a great way to take the dialogue online to in-person. And vice versa, as our events help build out our online communities.”

Red 7’s brands will, along with min (where Schwartz used to be group publisher), be part of a new AI division, the Media and Event Marketing Group, to be led by Kerry Smith, Red 7 founder and president. Smith will remain president of the expanded Red 7 Media Group and is also now an SVP at Access Intelligence. Schwartz, a SIPA board member, described Smith as “a very intelligent and creative media leader.” She will continue to lead AI’s PR, Cable, Studio and Dorland Health brands. “I have been with min for 15 years and we’ve created a lot of great products and services which will be in great hands under Tony [Silber, the GM of Folio and Audience Development].”

Don Pazour, president and CEO of Access Intelligence, issued a statement reflecting the excitement at Access Intelligence. “The ability to round out our leading position in the consumer magazine market with Red 7’s events, online communities and a leading magazine while expanding into the dynamic events business is a truly exciting prospect for Access Intelligence, our employees and customers.”

Smith founded Red 7 Media in 2002 and grew the Norwalk, Conn.-based company into a market leader, attracting more than 7,000 executives and 500 sponsors to its events and more than 800,000 unique visitors to its websites. He noted that he has an existing relationship with Pazour through SISO—the Society of Independent Show Organizers—and through Veronis Suhler Stevenson, the media-industry private-equity firm that has investments in both companies.

“Don’s team and ours share a vision for creating high-value business resources around market-leading brands,” Smith said. “Integrating Red 7 Media into Access Intelligence will provide Red 7 with deep resources and capabilities that will enable us to accelerate our growth strategies and better serve our customers and employees. I couldn’t think of a leader or company that would be a better fit for our brands, our vision and our employees.”

Schwartz explained that the “rounding out” that Pazour mentioned refers to “adding properties that are very strong on the events and advertising side and are synergistic to our AI properties (min, PR News, CableFax).” The new Red 7 Media group will serve the media and events industries through conferences, consulting, magazines, newsletters and online communities. Together with AI’s positions in cable television programming, public relations and digital graphics, this transaction makes Access Intelligence a major voice in media communications.

If “audience engagement” and “online communities” are indeed buzzwords for a successful formula in today’s changed publishing world, AI has taken a big step up.

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