By: Lucia Moses
BPI Communications Inc. completes purchase Sept. 9
The previously announced sale of the Editor & Publisher Co. to bpi Communications Inc. was finalized Sept. 9, ending the company’s long history of family ownership.
Reflecting a pattern of consolidation in the magazine industry, New York-based bpi will fold the E&P Co.’s operations into its
Adweek Magazines group, which consists of Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek, Shoot, and MC magazines. The group also has online, conference, directory, and training operations, and awards competitions, including the Clio advertising awards. Michael E. Parker is group publisher.
The E&P Co., also based in New York, publishes the E&P weekly magazine ? as well as mediainfo.com, a six-times-a-year supplement covering the online news industry, and Free Paper Publisher, a monthly magazine covering the free community paper industry. The E&P Co. also operates a Web site, E&P Interactive, at http:// www.mediainfo. com, directories, and conference operations. The company has 70 employees.
John Babcock Jr., president and ceo of bpi Communications, says he’s been interested in acquiring the E&P Co. for the past seven years.
“”I always thought it was the perfect fit, because we do the same things,”” he told employees at a reception given by bpi for E&P Co. staffers. “”Sooner or later, everyone seems to get acquired.””
bpi is a subsidiary of vnu-usa, which is owned by Dutch publishing giant vnu n.v. vnu-usa also owns Bill Communications, vnu Marketing Information Services, and srds, which is a provider of media rates and data to the advertising industry.
bpi provides specialized publications, electronic data, and marketing services to the entertainment, media, marketing, arts and design, and consumer fields. Its 23 magazines also include Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Architecture, Interiors, and American Artist.
New York media investment banking firm Veronis, Suhler & Associates handled the sale. No purchase price was disclosed.
E&P Co. co-publishers D. Colin Phillips and Chris Phillips say they decided earlier this year to put their family’s company up for sale because limited finances prevented it from reaching its potential.
The co-publishers and senior vice president/editor Brian Steffens left the company as part of the sale. Mediaweek editor Bill Gloede, who worked for E&P from 1979 to 1984, was appointed interim editor while the company looks for a new top editor.
“”We’re proud to have worked with such a great staff and continue the editorial independence E&P was known for under the Brown family,”” Chris Phillips says of the longtime owners. “”We think bpi will continue to help E&P grow in the future.””
bpi says it plans to expand the company’s core products, conferences, and online presence, leveraging the E&P brand.
“”Editor & Publisher is a strong brand franchise,”” says Mark A. Dacey, president of Adweek Magazines and executive vice president of bpi. “”We plan to invest aggressively in the products and in marketing to make it even better.
“”The fit is self-evident,”” Dacey says. “”Additionally, we will be able to combine our many products in new ways that will add value for both readers and advertisers.””
bpi says it will continue E&P’s coverage of newspapers while enhancing its coverage of key challenges to the industry’s future.
E&P dates back to 1884, when The Journalist, a weekly, was founded. E&P was launched in 1901 and merged with The Journalist in 1907.
James Wright Brown bought E&P in 1912, and the company remained in his family until the present.
In 1921, Brown published the first Editor & Publisher International Year Book, a directory of newspapers that was later expanded to a series of annuals.
His son, Robert U. Brown, took over as editor in 1944 and as publisher in 1958. Robert U. Brown led the magazine until 1996, when he turned over day-to-day control of the company to his grandsons, D. Colin Phillips and Chris Phillips.
bpi executives say the company intends to continue the editorial integrity of E&P maintained by the Brown family.
History of the Editor & Publisher Co. at a glance
1892Newspaperdom is started by Charles S. Patterson as a trade journal for the makers of newspapers.
1884The Journalist is founded by C. J. Byrne and Leander Richardson as a weekly magazine for professional journalists. The magazine rarely exceeds 12 pages.
1894The Fourth Estate is begun by Ernest F. Birmingham.
1901The Editor & Publisher is launched. Features include an editorial in the front of the magazine, as well as a railroad timetable that becomes a regular feature.
1907The Editor & Publisher merges with The Journalist.
1912James Wright Brown purchases controlling stock, 51%, in E&P
1915An advertisement appears for the first time on the cover of The Editor & Publisher.
1921First Editor & Publisher International Year Book launches.
1924First Syndicate Directory is published.
1924First Editor & Publisher Market Guide is published.
1925 E&P acquires Newspaperdom.
1927E&P merges with The Fourth Estate.
1932First annual Newspaper Promotion Awards are given out.
1944E&P redesigns to a smaller format due to WWII.
1944Robert U. Brown becomes editor of E&P.
1951E&P’s first two-color cover is printed.
1958Robert U. Brown becomes editor and publisher of E&P.
1972E&P’s first Journalism Awards and Fellowships Directory is published.
1984E&P celebrates its 100th anniversary.
1988First Interactive Newspapers Conference is held.
1990Free Paper Publisher is launched.
1990 D. Colin Phillips joins E&P June 11.
1992Christopher Phillips joins E&P Jan. 3.
1994The E&P Year Book and Market Guide first become available on CD-ROM.
1995Editor & Publisher Interactive Web site launches.
(Editor & Publisher WebSite:http:www.mediainfo.com) [Caption]
(copyright: Editor & Publisher September 11, 1999) [Caption]