Broadcasting & Cable Sold

Reed Elsevier sells three RBI titles to New Bay, retains Variety.

After years of on-again, off-again talks of selling Broadcasting & Cable and the rest of its business magazines, Reed Elsevier, the Dutch parent of Reed Business Information, said on Tuesday that it has sold three of them — B&C, Multichannel News and TWICE — to New Bay Media.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. New Bay said it has no plans to fold any of the newly-acquired properties.

New Bay publishes more than 40 magazines, including broadcast-focused trade titles TV Technology and Television Broadcast.

In July, Tad Smith, CEO of RBI-US, resigned, the company appointed executive vice president and CFO John Poulin the division’s acting CEO, and put a slew of titles back on the block.

Variety, which is also owned by RBI, was not one of them, although that could change. The company first put RBI on the block in February 2008.

“This has been a difficult decision to reach as there are many strong brands here, with very experienced and professional teams running them, but we have concluded that they are less well suited to RBI’s strategy going forward,” RBI global chief Keith Jones said in July. “We have had to contend with a far harsher advertising environment than any of us have experienced before and, in such a climate, we have to focus not just on innovation and efficiency, but also on ensuring that our portfolio is well-matched with our long-term ambitions.”

On Tuesday, Poulin said he was “pleased” that the magazines have found a new home.

The news of the sale comes as RBI rival Nielsen is said to be closing in on a deal to sell Billboard, the Hollywood Reporter and other titles to Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s son.