Media Property Shake Up As Hollywood Reporter And Other Nielsen Properties To Be Sold To News Communications
With content about to become valuable once again, courtesy of Murdoch's initiative to make relevant information scarce (and Google inaccessible), M&A fever is gradually picking up in the media space. The latest development comes from The Wrap which reports that Hollywood Reporter and several other Nielsen Company publications are set to be sold to privately held News Communications (note: not Corp). Other publications on the block include Billboard, Backstage, Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek and Editor & Publisher. What is odd is that the entire package, which focuses on the B-to-B crowd, has seen a dramatic drop off in revenue and net income, courtesy of what once was branded a recession, and now is merely yet another Fed inflated omni-asset bubble. As such it is very unlikely that the Nielsen PE sponsors, which acquired the firm in 2006, will make much if any profit on the divestiture.
From The Wrap:
It has been a brutal period in magazine publishing, and for
business-to-business trades in general. The Hollywood Reporter in
particular has suffered huge fall-offs in revenue, readership and even
The Reporter has gone through a series of
successive cutbacks in staff, leaving a skeletal editorial team running
the once-flush operation.
Several reports have suggested that
the Reporter would be abandoning its print version in the near future.
The daily has run very few print ads and Hollywood studios have cut
back severely on their traditional “for your consideration” Oscar
campaigns, the source of much of the trade’s annual revenues.
knowledgeable about the state of the trades said that all of Nielsen’s
entertainment titles were suffering. “Billboard is doing so-so, Adweek
is not doing well at all, and THR is not great,” said this former
senior Nielsen executive. “The B-to-B market has just collapsed. “
Reporter’s compatriot in the space, Daily Variety, has also suffered
huge -- though less severe -- setbacks. Its parent company has put
other trade publications, though not Variety, up for sale in recent
As for Nielsen, the firm has also struggled ever since being acquired for almost $12 billion, by a consortium of the who's who in the PE space. Current equity holders include the Blackstone Group, the Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman, Kohlberg
Kravis Roberts, AlphInvest Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners, known
collectively as Valcon. Lately, Nielsen's biggest utility has been to have its data used in media popularity wars between various business channels, as the advertising world has been cutting back spending indiscriminately and as such Nielsen's usage has not been as prevalent as it was prior to the recession.