Bonnnier Buys Cycle World From Hearst

Hearst's Smallest Title Becomes First Divestiture From Lagardere Acquisition

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Bonnier Corp. has acquired Cycle World from Hearst Corp., adding yet again to Bonnier's stable of special-interest magazines and removing Hearst's smallest title from its portfolio. Terms were not disclosed.

Hearst acquired Cycle World earlier this year as part of a large portfolio of brands it bought from Lagardere, including Woman's Day, Car and Driver and the publishing rights to Elle and Elle Decor.

But Cycle World was the smallest title in Hearst's enlarged portfolio. It reported an average paid and verified circulation of 242,341 over the first half of the year, down 14.9% from the first half of 2010, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Now Hearst's smallest magazine will be Town & Country, which averaged paid and verified circulation of 460,117 in the first half. Hearst's mass plays include major titles such as Good Housekeeping, which averaged paid and verified circulation of 4.3 million in the first half; Woman's Day, which averaged 3.9 million; Cosmopolitan, which averaged 3 million; and O, the Oprah Magazine, which averaged 2.5 million. (Woman's Day may have been a little too big, as it turns out; the title is cutting its paid circulation guarantee 14% to 3.25 million from 3.8 million.)

Bonnier Corp., part of Stockholm-based Bonnier Group, became a U.S. presence when it acquired 18 magazines from Time Inc. in 2007, many of which had modest circulations that Time Inc. said would be better served under a smaller owner. Bonnier subsequently kept picking up individual titles, including Working Mother and Scuba Diving magazine.

"Our company excels at serving passionate special-interest audiences, so Cycle World is a sold strategic fit," Bonnier Corp. CEO Terry Snow said in a statement.

Ad pages at Cycle World, which was founded in 1962, in the issues from January through October increased 4.1% from the equivalent period a year earlier, according to the Media Industry Newsletter.

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