Publisher Retains Investment Banker for Possible Deal

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Working Woman Network, publisher of Working Woman and Working Mother magazines has retained a media investment banker to assist in exploring the potential sale of the company, a spokeswoman told AdAge.com today.

The company, which is believed to have revenues in the $45 million to $50 million range but remains unprofitable, has retained New York-based media investment bankers DeSilva & Phillips to handle the potential transaction.

Ad pages down
Both the company's titles have been losing ad pages. Through March, Working Mother ad pages were down 19.5%, to 90.5, and ad pages at Working Woman were down 26.8%, to 73.4 -- sharper ad drops than most women's titles but lesser drops than some business titles. For the last six months of 2000, Working Woman's circulation was 630,343, up 0.8% from the previous year.

A plan to ride the company to profitability on the back of the recent tech boom and stressing Internet and network aspects of the business have not panned out. Fourteen people were laid off from workingwoman.com last week, but more extensive staff cuts took place there in December.

In addition to the magazines, Working Woman Network includes a conference division, the Web site workingwoman.com, the National Association for Female Executives and a database unit, Business Women's Network.

Industry observers suggest potential buyers for the company include Hearst Magazines, Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing and Meredith Corp. One source familiar with media markets said that the most attractive property to buyers would be Working Woman.

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