TVGuide Magazine PDF

Acquired : December 2 2008
Acquired From : Rovi
Industry : Print Media
Transaction Type : Corporate Carve-out
Realized : October 7 2015
Sold To : NTVB Media
Headquarters : New York, NY
Investment Strategy : Turnaround
tv-guideTVGuide Magazine is one of the most popular magazines in the country with over 13 million weekly readers. Established more than 60 years ago, TVGuide is the premier source for entertainment news, reviews and information about television programs.

Sourcing

OpenGate Capital sourced the investment through the Firm’s relationship with the seller, Macrovision (now renamed Rovi) and the head of corporate development at the magazine. Rovi had initiated a process to sell off all entities related to the TVGuide brand; a broadcast network listing, a dedicated web site, and a weekly print publication. Rovi believed the greatest value was in the network and web site businesses, and viewed the magazine as a true orphan with little to no future value.

Transaction Highlights

Under pressure to divest the magazine before the end of 2008, Rovi sought an acquirer that could move quickly. Through the strong relationships forged with the seller and TV Guide Magazine, OpenGate successfully differentiated itself among competing groups and won the acquisition bid.

Investment Merits

  • Market leading position as a the most recognized publication for television viewing enthusiasts
  • Experienced but misaligned management team
  • Opportunity to transform the magazine from a weekly listings publication, to a premier magazine with new editorial content including reviews and guidance on “what is worth watching” for television viewers
  • Opportunity to return the publication to a state of profitability through operational turnaround, cost optimization, product expansion and diversification

Stabilization

  • Recruited a new CEO and senior management team
  • Aggressively implemented a restructuring plan
  • Eliminated spending on events and programs that did not demonstrate a return on investment
  • Reduced circulation, page count and issue frequency while eliminating unprofitable subscriptions

Growth

  • Refocused editorial content, including insightful reviews on programs, interviews with show producers and cast members, and exclusive, behind the scenes stories about the most watched programs on television
  • Expanded digital suite of products through the launch of TVInsider.com
  • Developed a custom publishing division for special interest publications
  • Revitalized investment in marketing events through ComicCon
  • Brokered an agreement with CBS (owners of TVG.com) to cross-promote the on-line and print media entities
  • Launched replicas of the magazine via Nook and Kindle

Exit

OpenGate returned the TVGuide business from double-digit losses to a state of profitability within first 12 months of ownership and rejuvenated an iconic, American media brand. After nearly seven years of ownership, OpenGate sold the business to NTVB Media as a strategic complement to their portfolio of television-related publications.

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