Never a dull moment, as Publishers Weekly has gone up for sale:

Reed Business Information is putting Publishers Weekly and its affiliated publications, Library Journal and School Library Journal, up for sale. The sale of the group is part of RBI’s strategy to divest most of its trade magazines in the U.S. Last year, Reed Elsevier, parent company of RBI, tried to sell all of RBI but dropped the sale when it couldn’t get the price it wanted in a depressed market for media properties. In a related announcement, Tad Smith, CEO of RBI US, has resigned. John Poulin has been named acting CEO and he will head the sales process.

The sale is part of Reed-Elsevier’s attempt to divest itself of most of its trade magazines, according to Folio:

Among the magazines for sale are Broadcasting & Cable, Mutichannel News, Professional Builder, Publishers Weekly and Tradeshow Week.

Reed said it will retain its Reed Construction Data, RSMeans, Variety, MarketCast, LA411 and BuyerZone properties. The company put RBI on the block in February 2008.


  1. Well, whatever happens, I hope you’re able to continue with this blog, Heidi, assuming you want to. I really enjoy it.

  2. Definitely hoping this means little to the Blog. It’s obviously a great part of, what I assume is their strategy. I mean, with the cons they’re getting into and such it’s just a natural fit.

  3. There really are no safe havens anymore, are there? I hope this works out for you and the blog. I’d hate to lose Publisher’s Weekly and the library titles, too! My first publications were book reviews in Library Journal.

  4. Considering this is the second or third time the parent corporation has put a bundle on the block that includes Publisher’s Weekly, it means absolutely nothing until a sale is made. After that, it depends on who buys the bundle and what their strategy is. Assuming there’s a sale.

  5. The Quill & Quire blog referenced a 2008 NYT article that mentioned Apax Partners as a potential buyer of the RBI magazines back then.

    If there’s an online directory of trade magazine publishers, the most likely buyers, I would think, it doesn’t come up readily in a Google search. Note that most of the revenue for the RBI division, according to the NYT article, came from advertising. The number of advertising pages in U.S. magazines reportedly fell 29.4 percent in 2Q 2009.


  6. Variety is published by Reed. There have been rumors about Nielsen being up for sale, but they’ve been denied. I read an issue of PW several weeks ago and was shocked at the low number of ad pages. Online advertising hasn’t been a lifesaver for publishers either, though. Take a look at this title: Future of online advertising lies in collapse of print

    So how is this cycle going to be broken? Well, it lies in the cost structure** of a newspaper. Despite the gloom, many newspapers are still raking in advertising money and are seeing growing circulation numbers. Where they are actually suffering is cost.

    The costs to produce a newspaper and to print advertising are out of control. When these costs point to bankruptcy — the institutional bias will be broken.

  7. Ah, SHIT. I don’t like the sound of this one bit.

    Good thoughts to you, Heidi, and to Calvin and all the great people at PW who’ve made my job easier and my life better. I hope this ends up happier than it sounds.

  8. Hopefully there will be a buyer forthwith & very little change to the format as it stands. This is a fine ‘net destination, one of the few with an actual voice.

    Got my toes crossed for you, Ms. Heidi.

  9. I love this blog, to me, its a vital and relevant source of news and commentary. It keeps me connected to the industry I love the same way Comics Buyers Guide, Amazing Heroes and Comics Journal did back before the internet. Come to think of it, I believe Heidi worked at some of those as well.

    Sometimes I see items by small press publishers here that intices me to pick up their work just by what I’ve seen on this blog. I know many others who feel the same way.

    It’s also the only blog I read and look forward to reading it on a daily basis.

    Knowing how important this blog is, I have no doubt that if PW is in fact sold, someone, somewhere else is going to want to scoop this page up. Maybe Heidi should consider doing a site herself, she certainly has the audience.

    Still, PW isn’t sold yet, its just on the block so as they say, it should be business as usual, which means, Heidi gets to blog on and we get to keep reading.

  10. First, potential marriage rumors.

    Now, The Beat for sale?

    What’s next, the loss of the beloved Green Lantern ring?

  11. Lessee… this blog generates advertising, multiple page views, is edited by a journalist with numerous industry connections… yeah, I’d buy the blog, possibly even build a site around it.

    But PW ain’t broke yet. So we’ll hope for the best, keep the site traffic high, and maybe even visit one of those library journals.

  12. Heidi, I’m not the least bit worried for you, as your writing is what attracts people (like me) to this blog, no matter what name you call it now or later. We’re all commodities and you’re a very valuable one.

  13. Well damn Ace. Echoing everyone here, I have no doubts that if for some stupid but ultimately corporate reason the new owner decided that this blog wan’t part of their “vision” for PW – hell girl, you could take this over to their biggest competition….hmmm maybe set up a bidding war for your oh so excusive connections.

    I assume you have full access to your stats for this blog

    Chin up girl, it ain’t over till it is over. And I pity the fool who gets in the way of Heidi and her blog!

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