Folio/AD/CM magazine “sale” update

Folio/AD/CM magazine “sale” update: Rafat Ali at points to a story on reporting that “sources close to the self-styled targeted-media company said talks under way are more likely to produce a joint venture.”

Quote from The Deal, the self-styled financial news website:

“There is no shopping them around,” one such insider said of Folio, Circulation Management and American Demographics–three of the best-known titles in Primedia’s Business Information Segment. “So there is no financial adviser, and there are no plans for Primedia to stop being involved.” The source blamed speculation of a sale on a misreading of an 8-K statement filed by Primedia on Thursday. Therein, under the heading of Discontinued Operations, the debt-burdened company said it was “evaluating strategic partnerships” for the three titles and that their results were already “classified as discontinued operations.” Magazine consultant Martin Walker attributed the move to a strategic partnership, as well as recent reductions in corporate overhead, to the management style Kelly Conlin brought to Primedia on becoming its president and CEO in October 2003. “It’s classic IDG,” Walker said in reference to Conlin’s previous leadership of International Data Group, the world’s leading publisher of computer magazines and newspapers.

As this weblog added to the speculation, I will help the “one such insider” figure out why no one believes him or her: 1. Management did little communicate with employees what was going on until after the 8-K statement was reported by Tony Silber of the rival self-styled targeted-media M10 Report — out of such lack of transparency springs “speculation.” (According to an insider who can’t be quoted, the previous satatement is “horse shit.” I am glad to clarify that. Come to think of it, that is not the first time content on this blog has been described that way.) 2. Someone at Primedia refused to let news reporters at the “self-styled targeted media” websites cover the story (they still haven’t, unless it’s behind a pay wall), further fueling speculation. 3. Everyone knows that when “one such insider” says there is no “shopping them around” it typically means the titles are being shopped around.

Bottom line from this self-styled magazine industry observer (translation: a dilettante who guesses a lot): The magazines are for sale.