Popular Photography & American Photo Up For Sale

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. is looking to sell a group of its enthusiast magazines including Popular Photography, American Photo, Boating, Cycle World, Flying and Sound & Vision.  Hachette has been feverishly scrubbing its budget under CEO Alain Lemarchand since he arrived last fall, even dropping out of the main magazine industry association, but the sale effort is the most dramatic move yet.

The media investment bank DeSilva & Phillips has been shopping the titles for several weeks, industry insiders said.

Word of the sale effort appeared today in the Delaney Report, a trade newsletter. A Hachette spokeswoman and a DeSilva executive declined to comment, but others confirmed the offering.

It was not clear whether the titles were available individually or only as a group. Hachette also publishes Elle, Car and Driver, Road & Track and Woman’s Day magazines.

The recession has made 2009 a terror for most media owners, but it hasn’t completely stopped asset sales. Management at Garden & Gun magazine recently bought a majority interest in the title from its founding owner, Evening Post Publishing, which had decided to stop funding the title. And last week Sandow Media said it bought Western Interiors & Design magazine.

Ad pages from January through the April issues fell 48.7% at Boating, 18% at Cycle World, 19.3% at Flying, 15.3% at Popular Photography and 27.8% at Sound & Vision, according to Media Industry Newsletter.

As reported by Advertising Age


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One Response to “Popular Photography & American Photo Up For Sale”

  1. Jason Says:

    The economic times are taking its toll on every form of business out there today, however our priorities are all over the map. Business’s that receive federal bail out money are using it as bonus pay for the people that helped fuel an economic crisis and yet newspapers and magazines that have been with us for over a century are folding.

    Granted, the internet is an excellent way of of spreading information to the masses and anyone can write a column and have it seen world wide pulling information from a variety of sources (no different than Photo Insider really) with commentary. However, with such extensive information available at our finger tips we lose some of the personal touch that comes with familiar writers in publications such as those produced by Hachette Filipacchi.

    I live in New Jersey, just a short drive from the photographic capital of the world that is New York City. Information for me has always been at a premium, I can read a review of something from someone who lives in the same corner of the world as me and has a practical understanding of the surroundings I am in when using it. Reading an article on landscapes from a photographer in Wyoming can be helpful, but do I have such open vast expanses of land available to me in one of the most dense populated areas in North America if not the world?

    Some of these publications will find new life and have been trying to do so through on-line avenues. I will be the first to admit my day starts off with a cup of coffee and logging onto the internet to see what happened where while checking a variety of news outlets, facebook pages, twitter tweets, instant messenger, etc. As efficient as this may be, I long for the anticipation of waiting for a new copy of a photo magazine to get in my hand to read, to hold. To mention to someone that on this page I saw this and they will love it when they get their copy instead of sending an email with a hyperlink.

    The economy is sadly taking away the personal and intimate nature of a publication and its entire staff of writers and graphic designers and giving it to an outsourced company a world away who can web program and import the text into a fancy flash presentation to illustrate the illusion of pages that make a noise as you turn it. Photo magazines used to be judged on the quality of the paper, reproduction of the images, the content written. I fear this is just the opening chapter on the final tangible publication for photographic enthusiasts. As fun as blogs, videos, flash presentations, and all of the other fun technology has brought us, the impact of the word on the page in our hand is slowly giving way to just what our eyes can see and what our ears can hear.

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