The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

lucky numba
After putting it on the block a couple of months ago, Primedia sold Seventeen magazine, along with related properties, to Hearst Corp. for $182 million, much less than the $200 mil-plus they were hoping to net.

This ends a week-long period during which speculative suitors like Wenner Media (Rolling Stone) and, improbably, marketer/catalogue company Alloy were rumored to be making bids.

So now what? The deal gives Hearst both Seventeen and CosmoGIRL!, probably the two biggest guns in this space. Some think that won't last:

"Hearst has to be seriously considering abolishing one of the titles and combining their subscription list," said (media consultant Scott) Stawski. "They have to be considering that because it is virtually an identical demographic."

True true. I don't think either title is folding soon, but I'll be surprised if they're both still around 4 years from now. It wouldn't be the first time that a publisher did a big deal like this just to get at the subscriber rolls--where the big money is, ultimately.

It's a no-brainer as to which mag will be the one to go: Seventeen will fold, for sure. CosmoGIRL! has tons more brand cache, in no small part due to the Cosmopolitan association.