NEW YORK – American Media, Inc. (AMI), publisher of The National Enquirer, Star and health and fitness magazines, has agreed to buy Us Weekly from Wenner Media.
The purchase price was not revealed but reported around $100 million.
Us Weekly is the second-largest celebrity news magazine behind Time Inc’s People with a print circulation just under 2 million copies.
“We are excited to bring one of the most distinctive and powerful media brands to AMI and are looking forward to continuing its great editorial standards its loyal and growing audience expects,” said AMI CEO and Chairman David Pecker. “The extraordinary growth of Us Weekly as a multi-media leader for advertisers under Victoria Lasdon Rose’s leadership underscores the vitality of the brand to deliver creative and engaging marketing opportunities with its star-studded events.”
Founded in 1977 by the New York Times Company, Us Weekly was acquired by Wenner Media in 1985 marking a turning point for the brand. It has been a pop culture staple for 40 years and its audience is greater now than at any time in its history. Us Weekly is one of the largest magazines in the country with just over 1,950,000 paid copies per week and an online presence of more than 22 million visitors per month.
In the past year, Us Weekly has established an in-house video operation that produces 20 editorial and branded videos per day and garners over 20 million average views per month, resulting in significant increases in both audience and advertising revenue.
“The addition of such a strong stand-alone media brand like Us Weekly underscores AMI’s continued focus on our assertive strategy to expand our business and further establish our distinct advantages in today’s new media landscape,” said Mr. Pecker.
“We are enormously proud of the evolution and tremendous accomplishments of Us Weekly, a brand that has continually defined celebrity news,” said Gus Wenner, Head of Digital of Wenner Media. “We know that AMI will provide Us Weekly with exciting opportunities and we look forward to following their continued success,” he added.
AMI’s titles include National Enquirer, Star, OK!, Globe, National Examiner, Soap Opera Digest, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Flex and Muscle & Fitness Hers. AMI also manages 10 different digital sites including RadarOnline.com, OKmagazine.com, MensFitness.com and MuscleandFitness.com. AMI’s magazines have a combined total circulation of 2.3+ million and reach more than 39 million men and women each month. AMI’s digital properties reach an average of 50 million unique visitors and over 350 million page views monthly.
Methuselah Advisors is financial advisor to Wenner Media, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is legal advisor to Wenner Media. Cole Schotz P.C. is legal advisor to AMI.