SELLING OFF INTO THE SUNSET: Time Inc. has found a buyer for Sunset. The publisher revealed Thursday that Regent L.P., a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, will buy the Western-focused lifestyle title for an undisclosed sum. The news comes the same week that Meredith reached a deal to buy Time Inc. for $2.8 billion.
Regent chairman Michael Reinstein framed the acquisition as a labor of love, and he said that as a lifelong Angeleno, the magazine has been part of his life forever.
“This is a chance for it to return to its roots,” he said. Reinstein cited several areas of expansion — events, commerce and video — but emphasized his commitment to print and said the entire editorial team — including editor in chief Irene Edwards — of the Oakland-based magazine will stay on.
“We’re pleased to have found such a passionate buyer in Michael Reinstein and Regent. For 27 years, we’ve expanded Sunset’s influence and reach as the defining lifestyle brand of the modern American West serving an audience of 6.5 million across platforms. Now, under the new ownership team led by Michael Reinstein, Sunset will have the opportunity to reach new heights,” said Time Inc. chief executive officer Rich Battista.
“We have just scratched the surface of what it can do,” Reinstein said. At Time, where the title was just one of a stable of better-known brands, Renistein explained, “Sunset never got the chance to shine and see sunlight.”
In July, Time Inc. said it was interested in selling several titles. In addition to Sunset, the publisher is looking to offload Essence, Golf and Time Inc. U.K.
In a call with investors earlier this week following news of the Time Inc. sale, Meredith said the company would allow the disposal of those titles to go forward before the deal to buy Time Inc. was finalized.
“Time has publicly reported that they have some assets that are currently for sale, the Time U.K., Golf magazine, Sunset and Essence. And we’re going to allow Time Inc. during this — before the close period — to go for it and consummate those transactions, and we think that they’ll have those done by the end of the calendar year,” Meredith’s chief operating officer Thomas Harty said.