Trade Ya

Michael Bloomberg picked BusinessWeek up for a song in 2009, but old trade mags appear to hold their value better than that. According to Los Angeles Times, a buyer may need to pay ten times what Bloomberg paid for Variety.

Dutch and British conglomerate Reed Elsevier, which acquired the weekly and its Daily Variety newspaper 25 years ago, announced Friday that it was seeking a buyer for the 107-year-old brand.

Variety is not just a brand, it’s a trophy brand, and you might find someone overpaying for that reason,” said Ken Sonenclar, managing director at the media investment banking firm DeSilva & Phillips.

In 2010, it was among one of the first newspapers to block its Web content to non-paying subscribers. “Whoever buys it will have to reinvent Variety for the digital world,” Sonenclar said. “You can’t just run it more efficiently. That’s a dead end.”

Variety has 61,000 combined weekly, daily and online subscribers.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.