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Tribune Co. Buying Chicago Magazine

NEW YORK — Primedia said Wednesday that it has agreed to sell Chicago magazine for $35 million in cash to an affiliate of the Chicago Tribune Co.<br><br>With the sale of Chicago, Primedia will have sold approximately $220 million of its targeted...

NEW YORK — Primedia said Wednesday that it has agreed to sell Chicago magazine for $35 million in cash to an affiliate of the Chicago Tribune Co.

With the sale of Chicago, Primedia will have sold approximately $220 million of its targeted $250 million in noncore assets. Primedia will use the proceeds to reduce outstanding debt and strengthen its balance sheet. Among the properties Primedia has already sold are Bacon’s and the Modern Bride Group.

Chicago magazine, which has a circulation of 182,000, was established in 1952 and acquired by Primedia in 1995. A spokesman for Primedia said the company does not have Seventeen or New York magazines on the block.

Primedia also announced its second-quarter results for the period ended June 30, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization up 43.1 percent to $63.7 million, compared with $44.5 million in the year ago period. Consolidated sales, including noncore businesses, were up 0.6 percent to $422.5 million from $419.9 million a year ago. The company foresees no more losses from its noncore assets.

Consolidated EBITDA from continuing businesses was $65.1 million, up 26.9 percent from $51.3 million a year ago, with consolidated sales up 4.4 percent to $420 million from $402.4 million.

In the consumer segment, EBITDA from continuing businesses was $57.8 million in the second quarter, up 46 percent from $39.6 million a year ago. Sales from continuing businesses were $353 million, up 15.9 percent from $304.7 million. The increases were primarily attributed to the inclusion of the Emap USA properties, which the company bought last year.

Tom Rogers, chairman and chief executive, said: “Despite the continuing weak economic environment, we are seeing stabilization of our business. Consumer endemic advertising remains strong and brand advertising is more stable. [Business-to-business] trade advertising remains soft, but B2B represents only about 20 percent of our business.”