Women’s Wear Daily
04.20.2014
fashion-memopad
fashion-memopad

Memo Pad: It Could Have Been Thursday At 5 P.M...

A major holiday weekend is approaching and that usually means one thing: American Media Inc. uses the moment to issue its latest financial results.

fashion-memopad/news
High-level executives at Condé Nast remained skeptical about a potential deal between Wenner and 4 Times Square, some speculating the chatter was put out by Wenner to drum up interest in a potential deal. The mass market, celebrity gossip-driven Us Weekly is an unlikely fit into the upscale Condé Nast portfolio, observers said, and Men's Journal would be the fourth men's magazine after GQ, Details and Men's Vogue.

Nevertheless, many believe Wenner is keen to make a deal — for the right price. Several sources familiar with Us Weekly's financials believe the price tag of $750 million is lofty, but that anything over $600 million is feasible. Sources close to Wenner said he's been meeting with his financial advisers to discuss a sale. Last year, he reportedly had talks with Hearst Magazines to divest Us Weekly and Men's Journal, but a deal never came to fruition.

"This [shopping around the titles] is not a new idea. It dates back a couple of years," said a source close to Wenner. "He's as much in awe over the huge success of Us Weekly as outsiders are. It's not really his world, not like Rolling Stone, a world he instinctually understands. He's always been suspicious of Us Weekly's success, and wondering how long it will last."

As for now, the official word from spokespersons for Wenner and Condé Nast is that the rumors of a sale is just that. A spokesman for Wenner said, "Wenner Media and its properties are not for sale," and, speaking generally, said, "There have been no talks." A spokeswoman for Condé Nast said, "We do not comment on the subjects of acquisition. We have no comment." — Irin Carmon and S.D.S.

ALL ONE HAPPY FAMILY: Vanity Fair is adding two names to its prodigious number of contributing editors, both from New York magazine: Vanessa Grigoriadis, who won a National Magazine Award in 2007 for a profile of Karl Lagerfeld in New York, and Joe Hagan, who wrote high-profile stories on media and finance. Both are expected to keep writing for New York, though it couldn't be learned by press time whether Grigoriadis will shed her Rolling Stone contributing editor gig. — I.C.

 

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