Toronto-based private equity firm Beringer Capital acquired New York-based media and advertising trade publication Adweek from Mediabistro Holdings. The Adweek Blog Network comprising AgencySpy, FishbowlNY, FishbowlDC, GalleyCat, LostRemote, PRNewser, SocialTimes, TVNewser and TVSpy, is also included in the buyout.
Founded in 1978, Adweek’s main competitor is Advertising Age or Ad Age, which was founded in 1930 in Chicago after the Great Depression, and owned since then by Crain Communications Inc., a privately-held publishing conglomerate based in Detroit, Michigan.
Adweek’s sale to Beringer follows a series of cost-cutting measures, compounded by short-lived corporate reorganizations and ownership changes, while facing a challenging and fast-changing media landscape.
In 2014, Prometheus Global Media, a subsidiary of private equity firm Guggenheim Partners, acquired Mediabistro’s editorial properties for $8 million from Mecklermedia (formerly Mediabistro Inc. and WebMediaBrands Corp.). The acquisition did not include Mediabistro’s trade show operations, which were retained by Mecklermedia until it was liquidated in December 2015.
In January 2015, Adweek and Film Expo Group were merged into Mediabistro to form a new Prometheus subsidiary, Mediabistro Holdings. At the same time, its blogs were re-launched under the new “Adweek Blog Network” banner, and all of Mediabistro’s social media-oriented blogs were merged into SocialTimes.
In December 2015, in response to losses across Guggenheim Partners, the company announced that it would spin out its media properties to a group led by former executive Todd Boehly, including the Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group, Mediabistro, and Dick Clark Productions.
“We are committed to providing Adweek with the support they need to exceed the expectations of our readers, clients and partners,” said Brian F. Martin, co-founder of Beringer Capital and newly appointed chairman of Adweek.
James Cooper, the brand’s editorial director, will continue in his role “The digital landscape is ever-evolving, and it’ll be exciting to work with a partner who shares our passion for the future of media,” he said.
“Over the past four decades, Adweek has continued to evolve along with the industry in which it serves. We are truly excited at the prospect of what the next decade will bring,” stated Perry Miele, chairman of Beringer Capital.
Beringer Capital invests in digital media and marketing services industries. The firm partners with founders and management teams to build significant businesses through a combination of organic growth and add-on acquisitions.
Photo: More Than a Spokeswoman: How Kerry Washington Is Forging True Partnerships With Brands | Adweek. April 3, 2016, Cover Story.