Magazine Publisher Meredith Corp. to be acquired by Media General
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Published on September 8, 2015
The magazine publishing industry continues to see further shake-ups with the announcement today that magazine publisher Meredith Corporation is to be acquired by Media General in a deal worth $2.4 Billion. The acquisition by Media General is less about the print publishing operations and more about the 15 television stations held by Meredith, as the merger creates the third-largest television station company in the United States.
While Meredith may not be a household name, many of their magazines have worldwide recognition. Their magazine titles include Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, and Parents. They have such a strong reputation as a magazine publisher that there were talks of them acquiring Time Magazine within the past year. They have moved from a company that emphasized print publishing and magazines to one that is more focused on broadcasting, online, and licensing agreements.
Meredith appears to have been successful at moving more of their publishing operations online, and successfully licensing their most successful brands into other areas. The Better Homes and Gardens brand has products bearing their name at the world’s largest retailer, and their allrecipes.com website is one of the largest cooking sites online. As the direction of magazines shifts, creative professionals may still need to take some InDesign courses but are also much more likely to need to understand digital video tools and take some Premiere Pro classes or After Effects training to work in the next-generation publications that mix video, photos, and text to create interactive content.
This is quite an impressive set of growth for a publisher that started by printing agricultural information in Iowa – where they are still based, and where the new company will also headquartered after the Media General acquisition is completed.
Although Media General was formed with the merger of two newspapers in Richmond, Virginia they are no longer much of a publisher. While they expanded to include a group of more than 40 newspapers which were sold in 2012 to a newspaper holding company backed by investor Warren Buffet, leaving Media General exclusively as a broadcaster.
This merger along with the wider industry trend that shifts emphasis from traditional publishing appears to validate Adobe’s decision to not place as much emphasis on their InDesign application, which is widely used by newspaper and magazine publishers. While print publishing and InDesign will continue to play a roll in the future of content distribution, companies such as Meredith and Media General are emphasizing their online and broadcast operations.
About the author
Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the creator and editor of the Digital Classroom book series. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, and Microsoft. He delivers workshops relating to digital marketing, web analytics, SEO, and SEM. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.