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Decanter owner undertakes strategic review

IPC Media, the owner of Decanter magazine, is embarking on a review of its specialist titles, which could lead to the sale of some from its 85-strong portfolio.

However, the publishing group told the drinks business yesterday that any news of Decanter’s sale was “pure speculation”.
Speaking of the decision to assess the performance of the company’s range of print brands, IPC Media CEO Evelyn Webster said: “While print remains the engine that drives our business, we are increasingly focusing on accelerating the development of our multi-platform offerings to our consumers.
“As a result we need to review whether it is desirable for IPC to continue to publish the full range of brands that we currently own.”
In January this year the publishing house re-organised its business into three divisions according to its magazines’ target audience. These comprised “mass market women”; “upmarket women”, and men.

Commentators have suggested that a title such as Decanter does not slot obviously into any one of these new departments, raising the likelihood it would be sold.
On the other hand, retaining Decanter would fit with IPC’s aim to increase revenue from services other than print media – the magazine has already developed a successful range of non-print offerings such as the Fine Wine Encounter and its World Wine Awards.

IPC Media’s wide range of specialist titles are dwarfed by the group’s mainstream media brands such as TV Times, Marie Claire and Now, while IPC Media itself is owned by Time Warner, and it is believed that US-based company’s three key titles, People, Sports Illustrated and Time, have a greater turnover than the entire IPC business.
Patrick Schmitt, 12.05.2010

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