The Wall Street Journal reported today that Cycle World and Motorcyclist mothership Bonnier Publishing is meeting with bankers to explore its options, including the possible sale of the unit that holds most of its magazines – of which there remain 24 titles, 14 of them still in printed form.
“Over the last two years,” the Journal reports, “Bonnier has responded to market pressures by reducing the frequency of some of its titles including Popular Science, Saveur and Field & Stream, which have all become quarterly. The move helped slash printing and distribution costs while improving the appearance and feel of each publication,” and “the company underwent a restructuring in January 2018 at which point significant cost and staffing reductions were taken” – including the killing off of Dirt Rider and several other titles.
The story goes on to say, “Bonnier’s decision to explore a potential sale comes at a time when print advertising and newsstand revenue has been declining industrywide, as marketers increasingly focus online. The digital advertising business has also been challenged for many publishers, in large part because big tech companies including Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. capture so much of new digital ad spending.
“Researcher eMarketer estimates Facebook and Google together will capture 61% of the $151.3 billion expected to be spent on U.S. digital advertising in this year. The challenge for many smaller niche publishers is that they lack the necessary scale to compete with much larger rivals.”
Wow, it wasn’t long ago Bonnier was the much larger rival in the motorcycle magazine business. Best of luck to all our friends who are still there.
The rest of the story is here, (behind the WSJ‘s paywall).
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