Nielsen said to be selling trade mags


According to a report by The Wrap, The Nielsen Company has found a buyer for many titles in its US magazine group, including The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek. There’s as yet no confirmation from either side that James Finkelstein’s News Communications Inc. is buying the titles.

Nielsen reports its Q3 financial results on Thursday, so analysts are sure to ask about the reported sale if it isn’t announced by the company. Revenues and operating income for the Business Media division fell sharply in Q2, with CFO Brian West admitting that “you see no top-line at all and a lot of pressure” for the trade publication business.

There’s no word yet on a price tag for the magazine group. Business has been so bad in the trade magazines that in June Nielsen shut down Radio & Records, three years after buying the magazine for $18.5 million.

Finding a buyer for suffering magazines is no easy feat in the current environment. Not only has Nielsen been quietly shopping its titles, but Reed Elsevier put its business publications up for sale last year, pulled them off the auction block after 10 months, and then put some of them, including Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News, back up for sale in July. To date, no sales have been announced there either.

Who is James Finkelstein? He heads News Communications Inc., which used to be a public company, but went private in 2005 (a tiny number of shares still trade from time to time on the Pink Sheets, but it is not an SEC reporting company). It owns Capitol Hill Publishing, the publisher of The Hill, a daily newspaper and website focused on Congress. It also owns Marquis Who’s Who, which publishes such directories as Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.

RBR-TVBR observation: If one does not have the passion to run them then finding a home is better than pulling an R&R. Print, paper and postage still is and always will be called a ‘Trade’ or ‘Old Media’. 

Success in the media information business yesterday, today and tomorrow is based on numerous things but the first is making the full pivot into digital or ‘New Media’ then the world opens up past the old media trade doors. 

That is where Nielsen Business Media and Reed Business both failed as neither seemed to want to make the investment in time, money, and patience.

No business in today’s environment is easier to run or make a profit than any another business. Businesses only succeed when their ownership is committed to its product with vision coupled with passion. The end result – it shows in the product.