'Maxim' Magazine Sold To Darden Media Group

Young men’s lifestyle magazine (don’t call it a lad mag) Maxim is being sold by Alpha Media Group to Darden Media Group, owned by former UPS executive turned property developer Calvin Darden Sr., for an undisclosed sum, the companies announced late Thursday.

Under the terms of the agreement, Darden is acquiring all Maxim's assets, including 15 international editions sold in 34 countries; branded franchise events; and all digital assets, including the magazine’s digital edition, Web site Maxim.com, the magazine’s Xbox 360 app, and various digital video apps.

Regarding his hopes for Maxim, Darden revealed plans for to extend the brand to new media platforms, including cable, radio, and music -- all of which will help increase exposure to the core target audience.

In addition to his work at UPS and in property development, Darden helped spearhead the Atlanta Beltline urban redevelopment project, founded Darden Putnam Energy & Logistics, a biofuel company, and currently serves on the board of directors of Target, Coca-Cola and Cardinal Health.

Alpha Media announced that it was putting Maxim up for sale back in March, following years of print advertising declines. In 2012, Maxim’s total print ad pages declined 22.2% compared to the year before, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, from 504 to 392. The 2012 figure is a long way from the magazine’s peak in 2002, when PIB tallied 1,224 ad pages. That’s a 68% decline over a decade.

Maxim changed hands several times during that period. In June 2007, Dennis Publishing sold it and its corporate siblings -- shopping mag Stuff and music mag Blender -- to the Quadrangle Capital Partners in partnership with ex-Wenner Media boss Kent Brownridge, for about $250 million. Stuff was shuttered almost immediately, in August 2007, and Quadrangle lost control of Maxim to one of its main creditors, Cerberus Capital Management, in July 2009. Blender was shuttered in March 2009.



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