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Penske Media Acquires ARTnews

The Fall 2018 issue of ARTnews.

COVER PHOTO: MELANIE DUNEA; ©ARTNEWS

Penske Media Corporation today announced that it has acquired Art Media Holdings, LLC, the parent company of ARTnews, Art in America, The Magazine ANTIQUES, and MODERN Magazine.

“For more than a century ARTnews and Art in America have been leaders in breaking news and commentary on the art world,” PMC’s chairman and CEO, Jay Penske, said in a statement. “To welcome these fine publications, whose editorial heritage I have long admired, is not only a remarkable opportunity but also a great honor.”

Founded in 1902, ARTnews’s offerings include a quarterly print magazine, a website, and two daily newsletters.

Penske Media’s other titles include Rolling Stone, Variety, WWD, and Deadline, among others. A full release detailing the acquisition follows in full below.

NEW YORK, New York—November 13, 2018: Penske Media Corporation (PMC) today announced its acquisition of ARTnews and Art in America as part of the overall acquisition of Art Media Holdings, LLC, the largest independent art publishing group that also includes The Magazine ANTIQUES and MODERN Magazine.

ARTnews, founded in 1902 and winner of more than 40 major journalism awards, is the most highly circulated contemporary art magazine in the world. ARTnews is a daily resource for leaders of the international art world, with digitally led news coverage from its global correspondents, investigative reports, reviews of exhibitions, and profiles of artists and collectors.

Art in America, since its founding in 1913 has been the compelling voice of criticism and dialogue in the art community, indispensable for artists, curators, and collectors in the US and around the world seeking informed analysis of the world’s most important art movements.

In the art world, where a significantly fragmented audience spans many websites and publishers, PMC sees the opportunity to augment these exceptional brands with further investments in content and editorial, complemented by robust data and analytic tools, and growing an engaging live media and event business. This acquisition expands PMC’s reach and influence by adding key brands in the art vertical to its offerings that include music, fashion, entertainment, retail, beauty, and lifestyle.

“For more than a century ARTnews and Art in America have been leaders in breaking news and commentary on the art world. To welcome these fine publications, whose editorial heritage I have long admired, is not only a remarkable opportunity but also a great honor,” said PMC Chairman and CEO Jay Penske. “This purchase continues PMC’s strategy of investing in businesses with great vertical depth, and we plan to rapidly build upon their editorial foundation while extending their presence across the web, video, and international markets.”

“Knowing what Jay and his team have done with other century-old media brands in the PMC portfolio, it’s clear that PMC sets the gold standard for furthering legacy media brands’ potential,  using a diversified approach attuned to today’s digital landscape,” said Victoria Duffy Hopper, CEO of Art Media Holdings, LLC. “We’re eager to integrate with PMC’s expertise and expand our brand offerings to the worldwide art audience that relies on us for the best in breaking news, criticism and analysis.”

“These publications are guideposts to our world’s art history, and our own American culture. I am very confident that Jay Penske and Penske Media are the right owners for their next many decades,” said the former owner and Chairman Peter Brant.

Penske Media, founded in 2004, is a leading digital media company committed to investing in legacy media brands and evolving their strategies for today’s competitive digital media landscape. With significant experience across its 16 industry-leading trade and consumer brands that include Rolling Stone, Variety, WWD, Robb Report, Deadline, SheMedia, Beauty Inc, FN, IndieWire, HollywoodLife, BGR, and other leading brands, PMC’s digital media expertise and complementary portfolio will be key advantages in propelling these newly acquired publications to significant progress, profitability and long-term sustainability and growth.

Transaction Highlights:

  • Content and editorial excellence are at the core of PMC’s strategy, and the company has extensive aspirations in scaling ARTnews’ and Art in America’s data and subscription offerings.
  • This acquisition complements Penske Media’s existing trade and consumer media brands, all of which intersect with the art world. Collaboration with Art Media Holdings’ titles is expected across the PMC portfolio.
  • With this acquisition, PMC is now the largest employer of art journalists in the world.
  • These heritage brands are expected to thrive under the stewardship of PMC, which has a proven track record in successfully growing legendary media businesses while preserving the heritage and culture of each brand.
  • The publication MODERN magazine parallels Art in America’s critical attention to the art world in that it is the “Designers’ Design Magazine.” Known for introducing and examining new trends in the design market, MODERN magazine reflects on the significance of modern design greats with an informed voice.
  • The Magazine ANTIQUES is America’s premier, unrivaled publication on the historical fine arts and decorative arts, architecture, preservation and interior design, covering fine and decorative arts scholarship.
  • Opportunities made available by this acquisition include the creation of a data and analytics business; a B2B events business, with expected collaboration across other PMC brands; and an augmentation to digital strategy that will increase brand audiences.
  • The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
  • Alan Mnuchin of AGM Partners LLC in New York provided transaction advisory.

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