Radio Times publisher Immediate Media has bought the BBC Good Food brand including its magazine, digital and live events businesses.
Immediate said the acquisition makes it the “largest food media publisher in the UK”.
The BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Studios (previously BBC Worldwide) owned the BBC Good Food brand, although the magazine was published under contract by Immediate.
Immediate has now licensed the BBC Good Food brand name and bbcgoodfood.com website from BBC Studios as part of the acquisition.
The publisher claimed BBC Good Food is the UK’s largest food website with 22m global monthly visitors, and the UK’s best-selling food magazine, with 1.3m monthly readers.
According to the latest ABC figures, the magazine has an average print circulation of 169,506.
Immediate chief executive Tom Bureau said: “Not only is this the biggest brand in food publishing and media, but is absolutely on strategy for Immediate, given our focus on high value special interest communities, and cements our market leadership in the food sector.
“We see significant opportunity in growing the brand, which we know well from working closely with BBC Studios.
“I’m looking forward to welcoming the hugely talented BBC Good Food team to Immediate, and we are committed to continue to produce the world-class content they are known for, whilst developing the brand across all platforms.”
The acquisition is Immediate’s first since it was bought by Germany-based Hubert Burda Media in January last year, when Bureau said the companies shared the same “vision for growth and innovation”.
BBC Good Food publishing director Chris Kerwin will now take up the role of food managing director for Immediate’s new food business portfolio, reporting to group managing director Alison Forrestal.
Immediate publishes nine other BBC-branded magazines, including BBC History Magazine and BBC Music.
Some, like BBC Top Gear, are published by Immediate under contract while still owned and operated by BBC Studios, while others, including BBC Gardeners’ World, are owned by Immediate.
BBC Studios’ president for the UK, Marcus Arthur, said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve not only found a terrific new home for the BBC Good Food team and brand, but also the right home.
“Immediate Media is a long-trusted partner of BBC Studios and has already guided several of our former magazines to even greater heights.
“Tom and his team’s plans to invest further in the Good Food brand will build on its continued strong performance and consumer popularity.”
Immediate publishes around 60 magazine titles, including the Radio Times, and has more than 1,300 staff. It claims to reach more than 19m people each month.
Food brands Delicious magazine and Healthy Food Guide are published by Eye To Eye Media but ad sales are outsourced to Immediate.