Surprising potential buyer emerges for Us Weekly: tronc
March 9, 2017
Us Weekly has been up for sale for what seems like forever.
Wenner Media seemed to have reached a deal to unload the celebrity title to American Media, another company in the celeb business, but that agreement felt apart.
Us returned to the block, and now a most unlikely bidder has emerged – tronc.
The struggling newspaper company, which owns The Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, has expressed interest in Us, apparently due to the title’s vast digital reach.
Us boasts more than 21 million unique monthly visitors to its pages. That’s a strong number, and with print companies recognizing that digital is the future, that apparently sparked tronc’s interest.
Putting a price on Us
So how much is Us Weekly worth?
Perhaps not as much as it would have been able to wrangle a decade ago, when the celeb category was hot and Us was near the top in circulation and advertising, trailing only Time Inc’s People.
Several reports say tronc has offered $85 million to $95 million. The New York Times puts the figure at $100 million.
But all of those may be high. With no other bidders in sight, tronc has the leverage in setting the price, and it’s unlikely to offer top dollar when print titles are closing left and right.
Sellling off Us would allow Wenner to reduce its debt load. Last year it sold off a large stake in Rolling Stone.
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