New York magazine is officially for sale
New York magazine has become the latest legacy title to hang out a “for sale” sign and the guessing game has already begun to see who will step forward to make a run at it.
Supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis, who passed on a chance to buy the Daily News two years ago, says he will consider it.
“I’ll at least look at it,” he said. “After we look at the numbers, I’ll make a decision.”
It could not be learned if billionaire hedgie Nelson Peltz, who was part of a coalition that was outbid by the late financier Bruce Wasserstein 14 years ago, would make bother to make another run.
Parent company New York Media said Tuesday it was exploring strategic options, confirming a Wall Street Journal story.
“We are focused on building our business organically, but we also explore investment interest and strategic opportunities as a general practice,” said a spokeswoman for New York Media.
Pam Wasserstein, a daughter of Bruce Wasserstein, who bought the magazine for $55 million in 2004, has been the CEO for the past two years. Bruce Wasserstein died suddenly in 2009, and despite the early uncertainty, the publication has been run by a family trust ever since.
New York has struggled with its print edition, which in 2014 cut back to 29 times a year, but it was an early digital adapter. It boasts a half-dozen websites including Vulture, The Cut, Daily Intelligencer, Grub Street, Science of Us and Splitsider.
“Given the growth New York Media has seen, it makes sense for us to evaluate the market for opportunities to continue to develop the business,” the spokeswoman said.
Since 2004, when Adam Moss took over as editor-in-chief, the magazine and its digital offshoots have won 20 National Magazine Awards, more than any other magazine in that span.
It began as an insert into the Herald Tribune, but when that newspaper folded, Clay Felker, editor-in-chief of the insert, bought the New York name and launched it as a standalone glossy in April 1968. Over the years, its writers have included Gloria Steinem, Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin and Nora Ephron, and more recently John Heilemann and Vanessa Grigoriadis.
Bruce Wasserstein acquired it from Primedia, controlled by Henry Kravis’ buyout firm KKR, in 2004. Wasserstein was a surprise victor, upsetting presumed frontrunners that had included columnist Michael Wolff and a collection of wealthy individuals that included Harvey Weinstein, Mort Zuckerman and Nelson Peltz.
News Corp., the parent company of the New York Post, had owned it from 1976 until the sale of a number of magazines to a Kravis-led holding company then known as K-III Communications in 1991.
New York is only the latest magazine to go into play. Meredith said it hopes to complete a sale of four titles that it inherited from Time Inc. including Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money in the near future.
The Newhouse family just said it was planning to sell three Condé Nast titles, Brides, W and Golf Digest. And Jann Wenner sold majority control of Rolling Stone to Jay Penske’s Penske Media earlier this year.
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