Mag Bag: Bonnier Buys Working Mother Media

by , Sep 26, 2008, 7:30 AM
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Working Mother magazine Bonnier Corporation is adding to its portfolio of enthusiast and lifestyle titles with the acquisition of Working Mother Media, publisher of Working Mother magazine. The deal signals that Bonnier may not be finished with its run of acquisitions, which began last year with the purchase of most of Time4Media's enthusiast titles, including Popular Science, Field & Stream, Ski and Parenting.

Working Mother, with a circulation of over 830,000, has been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal advertising environment for consumer magazines.

According to MIN Online, Working Mother's ad pages are up 14.5% through its August-September issue. The magazine publishes eight times a year. Carol Evans, the founder and CEO of MCG Capital, Working Mother's previous owner, will continue at Bonnier as president of its new Working Mother group. Evans bought the magazine from Macdonald Communications back in 2001.

Bonnier made the buy as it tries to turn around the Time4Media titles, which have been hit by a secular downturn in enthusiast titles, as well as the general economic slowdown. Earlier this year, there were also rumors of dissension between Bonnier's execs and the mags' editorial leadership. Although neither side commented, Parenting's editor Janet Chan's departure in March was attributed to clashes with Bonnier's management.

Guideposts Debuts Casual Gaming

Guideposts.com is launching casual gaming, the magazine Web site announced earlier this week. The casual gaming offerings are the result of a partnership with Arkadium, which develops both casual games and advergaming features. The games include Eggz, a matching game, Spider Solitaire and Sodoku. Philip Charles-Pierre, the vice president of digital media for Guideposts, remarked: "Recent statistics have shown that women make up the largest core audience of people playing online casual games. We have over 8 million loyal readers who match the same demographic that these games reach, so we knew that adding them to our site would be of great appeal to our most loyal audience."

Stack Media Gets 100 Million Page Views in August

Stack Media says its collection of Web sites targeting high-school athletes--including Stack.com--garnered 101 million page views in August, according to comScore Media Metrix, claiming that it has surpassed Sports Illustrated, with 97 million. These views were generated by some 4.2 million unique visitors, up from 3.5 million in July. Co-founder and co-CEO Nick Palazzo boasted that "the company has now entered the major leagues of the sports media marketplace."

Meredith To Cut Country Home From 10 to 8 Issues

The shelter and domestic categories are feeling the effects of the prolonged downturn in the housing market. This week the New York Post reported that Country Home is reducing its publication schedule from 10 issues to 8 issues per year, matching it to Traditional Home's schedule. The magazine's ad pages were down 12.7% through August, according to MIN Online. Total ad pages at publisher Meredith Corp. are down 15.9%, per the TNS Group Publisher's Report.

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