It’s tronc. No, wait, American Media scoops up Us Weekly.
Star and OK! owner closing the deal to acquire the celebrity weekly
March 17, 2017
This after all the talk was that AMI was the likely buyer.
Now tronc is out, and AMI is back in, and about to be the celeb title’s new owner, according to various reports.
Pricetag: $100 million.
While that might seem a hefty price for a print title these days, it’s fraction of what the title might have gone for just five years ago, before so much celebrity gossip went online.
Just why the big switcheroo–tronc dropping out and AMI humping back in–is not known.
The deal kind of made sense for tronc, owner of the L.A. Times and other dailies, as a way to build its online presence.
It makes a lot more sense for AMI. It already owns celebrity weeklies Star and OK!, as well as tabloids The National Enquirer and Globe. Us will give a bit of cachet as the most upscale title in its portfolio.
And while the print editions of all those titles are expected to see further declines in ad pages, the addition of Us’s audience should bolster AMI’s online audience smartly.
Us Weekly staff not thrilled
But it makes sense to AMI on another level.
AMI CEO David Pecker is a master at cost-cutting, with a long history of buying print titles in their declining years, slashing costs, and pulling hefty profits out of them in the process for their remaining years.
Among Us Weekly staffers the worry is that Pecker will chop 100 jobs, leaving a dozen to put out the magazine, reports the New York Post.
The one sure winner in this deal is Wenner Media, Us Weekly’s longtime owner. It will use the proceeds to reduce its debt. The company sold a stake in Rolling Stone last year.
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