Interesting times make for strange bedfellows — and a marriage between Hearst Magazines and Condé Nast is no exception. The two publishing giants have joined forces to create an independent entity called PubWorx. WWD first learned of a partnership late last year.
PubWorx is a new company that will manage production, procurement and circulation for both publishers, and offer custom programs across the industry. The company will be helmed by Al Perruzza, who most recently served as executive vice president of business operations at Reader’s Digest. He will be president and chief executive officer of PubWorx and will report to a board composed of Condé Nast and Hearst Magazines executives.
PubWorx is a 50-50 joint venture between the two New York-based publishers, and will incorporate staff and back-office functions from both firms. It will provide third-party companies a range of products and services, including procurement, production, full-service and end-to-end circulation management operations.
“PubWorx is an innovative new company that combines the commitment to excellence and publishing expertise of both Condé Nast and Hearst, and offers it to third-party companies for the first time,” said Condé president and ceo Bob Sauerberg. “Having the two parent companies as its first clients sets PubWorx up for success and we are looking forward to the new company developing untapped business opportunities with its unique position in the market.”
Hearst Magazines president David Carey added: “In addition to serving Hearst and Condé Nast, Pubworx will provide important, turn-key infrastructure for the industry, allowing publishers to access the scale of our two companies for production and circulation functions, freeing them to concentrate on innovation, content creation and advertising revenue.”
According to both executives, PubWorx isn’t the first time their companies have worked together; the two publishers formed Comag, a marketing and retail distribution company, nearly 40 years ago. The U.S. branch of Comag was sold in 2012, but Hearst and Condé Nast still own and operate the U.K. division together.
Hearst Newspapers and Advance Publications, parent company of Condé Nast, have also worked together on procurement for many years.
For PubWorx, client services are customized and will include procurement, which entails purchasing and supply chain management including paper, printing and distribution; production, including work flows, systems and technologies, and quality control and distribution planning for subscription and retail delivery.
It will also help with circulation management, which includes subscription acquisition and retention operations, and retail operations including in-store programs.