It’s official – or should be any moment. Felix Dennis is expected to announce today the sale of most of his American titles to the Quadrangle Group, a big American investment firm.
The only exception is The Week, the quasi Time and Newsweek weekly, which is said to be Dennis’s favourite .publication.
The price for the other titles – including Maxim, Stuff and Blender – is said to be around $235 million. That’s less than Dennis had hoped for when he first put his American titles on the market 18 months ago. His target was around $300 million
But interest in lads’ mags has declined lately, and so have sales, largely because many American men’s mag readers have turned to the internet and many supermarkets are against displaying sexy magazine covers at their check-out counters.
The sale of the Dennis titles to Quadrangle means that Kent Brownridge, who for 30 years worked as No 2 to Jan Wenner, a hot rival of Felix Dennis, will be back in the men’s mag business where he had a reputation as a “cut-throat executive”. It will put him in competition with his old boss. That, everyone speculates, will be a situation to watch,
As will the future of Stuff, which was intended to be competitor to FHM. But FHM was killed off in December, so what to do with Stuff may be the first question that Quadrangle (and Brownridge) may have to decide. Merge it with Maxim, whose circulation (and ad income) has been declining.? That’s one suggestion that’s been made, and could mark a possible start to a new men’s mag war in the US.