VALUE OF 'NEW YORK' MAGAZINE REVEALED IN SALE DOCUMENTS

Has Higher Revenue and Profits Than Expected

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The "black book" docket of financial information for Primedia's New York magazine is trickling out to prospective buyers. And according to executives familiar with the financials, the
The October issue of New York magazine.
Related Stories:
WHY MAGAZINES ARE THE NEW VAUDEVILLE
And Why Moguls and Impresarios Who Want to Own Them Are So Different
EMMIS, PRIMEDIA SAID TO MEET ON 'NEW YORK'
Publisher of 'Texas Monthly' Eyes Weekly's Purchase
PRIMEDIA DISMANTLES MEDIA CENTRAL PROPERTIES
Company Characterizes Move as 'Refocusing'

numbers contained could increase the title's chances to fetch a considerable price.

According to these executives, Primedia projects New York, in the financial data it's releasing, to post revenues of around $60 million and a profit in the range of $3 million to $4 million in 2003. Even on the low end, these represent higher revenue and profit figures than were previously reported in Advertising Age and elsewhere, of around $40 million and $1 million, respectively.

Profit swings
The financials show the revenue levels remained relatively consistent for the years 1998 to 2003, but the actual profits swung substantially, from a low of around $2 million to a high of around $8 million, said one executive. 

After months -- if not years -- of speculation as to whether New York was for sale, Primedia officially placed the title on the block last month. For the first half of 2003, New York's circulation was up 3.4% to 442,209, and through Spetember its ad pages were down 9.2% to 1,683.1.

No potential buyer has yet had time to do deep due diligence needed to fully gauge a reasonable bid for the magazine, and one executive expressed doubt New York's stated numbers would hold up to serious scrutiny. Few expect that a buyer will be able to wring substantial costs out of the business, as Primedia is not known for running especially lavish operations. Still, at first glance, the figures suggest the magazine could fetch a price around $60 million, one executive said.

Many bidders expected
New York's grip on its market is not what it once was, with interlopers such as Time Out New York and even citysearch.com nibbling away at portions of its franchise. Nevertheless, it's expected to draw a wide array of bidders, owing to its marquee name as well as the intangible perks that come from owning such a quintessential player in the nation's largest urban landscape.

A partial list of New York's potential bidders as well as parties who've expressed interest includes Tribune Co., Mort Zuckerman, Emmis Communications, Gotham publisher Niche Media, American Media, Advance Publications and a partnership of New York's magazine columnist, Michael Wolff, and Donny Deutsch, chairman-CEO of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch.

A Primedia spokesman declined to comment.

In this article:
Most Popular