Is Web Publisher BuzzMedia in Talks to Buy Spin Magazine?

Company Has Been Building Focus on Music as of Late

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Spin magazine may be in for another revolution. Talk is swirling that BuzzMedia, which publishes websites such as KimKardashian.com and Stereogum, is in talks to acquire Spin magazine, the music title founded by Bob Guccione Jr. in 1985.

There's no confirmation from the people said to be at the table. BuzzMedia CEO Tyler Goldman, Spin Media CEO Alan Nichols and others said their companies do not comment on rumors.

It's also conceivable that the talks dissolve, yield a minority investment or produce a different sort of deal. In addition to the portfolio of music sites that BuzzMedia owns -- such as Idolator, Stereogum, AbsolutePunk and PureVolume -- the company also handles ad sales for some independently owned sites.

But BuzzMedia has been increasing its focus on music lately, creating a general manager of music position in January and buying the electronic music site XLR8R in May.

Spin, meanwhile, has been trying to pivot from a primarily print operation to a more digitally focused brand. This year it cut its print publication schedule to 6 issues a year from 11, switched to heavier paper and a bigger size for the remaining issues and reduced its paid circulation guarantee to advertisers. Spin's print ad pages fell nearly 10% last year, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

But its $7.99-per-year Spin Play app for the iPad, which won an Ad Age Media Vanguard Award last year, packages some print content with curated collections of streaming songs and video.

If BuzzMedia buys Spin, it will be the latest symbol of the shifting media landscape. The McEvoy Group and partners bought Spin in 2006 for roughly $5 million, a fraction of the $42 million that Mr. Guccione and his partners sold it for in 1997.

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