'Spin' Founder Bob Guccione Jr. to Buy Title

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Disney Publishing Worldwide has agreed to sell Discover, the consumer science magazine, to a group of investors led by Bob Guccione Jr., founder of Spin and Gear magazines. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“A consumer science magazine is not longer a strategic fit for us as we continue to focus on magazines for families and children, including FamilyFun, Disney Adventures and Wondertime, which launches in 2006,” said Glenn Rosenbloom, senior vice president and group publisher of Disney Publishing Worldwide’s U.S. consumer magazine group.

Discover was established in 1980 and has been owned and published by Disney subsidiary Buena Vista Magazines since 1991.

Ad pages down
From January through July of this year, Discover had 151.4 ad pages, down 7.3% from the comparable period last year, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Its performance last year was stronger, with 307.3 ad pages, up 9.1% over 2003.

Discover claimed an average of 859,225 paid subscribers during the six months that ended June 30, according to its filing with the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Discover Media
Mr. Guccione will be CEO at Discover Media, which was created to buy the magazine as well as other media properties. He plans to add a humor column, bulk up the ad sales staff and potentially introduce new science magazines.

The activity comes amid other activity in consumer science publishing. Seed magazine, devoted to science and its interplay with culture, nears its return to newsstands after a hiatus as a property of the Seed Media Group. Seed Media said yesterday that it had named Dr. James Watson, who received the Nobel Prize for his co-discovery of the structure of DNA, as special advisor to its board.

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