First, it was Sunday Night to get the chop, then it was his exec team and now it appears Pacific Magazines could be next to go as Seven West Media’s newly appointed CEO James Warburton sells the silverware to get the company back in the black.
According to reports in today’s The Australian, Seven is negotiating with rival Bauer Magazines to offload its Pac Mag business.
Pacific Magazines currently publish titles such as Better Home And Gardens, marie claire, Who, New Idea and Men’s and Women’s Health.
According to Seven’s annual report, Pac Magazines generated revenue of just shy of $130 million for the financial year, down 7.2 per cent from $139.5 million the previous year.
Apparently, it’s not the first time the merger has been mooted but failed to get off the ground in its initial stages.
If it were to go ahead, it would leave Australia with only two major magazine publishers – News Life Media and Bauer.
The problem for the magazine publishers is that many of the titles – marie claire, as an example – are published under expensive international licence deals.
Sadly, as the license fees have gone up, advertising has dwindled making the print properties less viable.
As an example, marie claire in the UK just announced it would no longer do a print edition and take the brand wholly online.
There have also been reports that Bauer in Australia was considering culling its high-fashion magazine Elle due to the licence fee. That, in turn, would make Bauer’s other fashion glossy Harper’s BAZAAR unviable as it would be unable to cross-sell across the two titles.
However, having Pac Mags’ New Idea and WHO under the same roof as Bauer’s Woman’s Day and NW does make commercial sense.
In other mag news, The OZ is also reporting that Pac Mags highly respected CEO, Gereurd Roberts, will be promoted to chief digital officer at Seven in Warburton’s exec reshuffle.
The latest move does appear to be in line with Warburton’s strategy for Seven; that being cut costs and acquire where he can afford to.
“We’re a hunter and we’re focused on transforming the company,” Warburton told The Australian when appointed to the role in August following incumbent CEO Tim Worner’s shock departure.
“We’ll be very active and we’ll review all the options, and if we find something compelling that makes sense for shareholders then we will take that forward.”