It’s official: Paul Allen wants to sell another part of his once-ambitious wired world. This time it’s The Sporting News, so storied that “venerable” is almost part of the formal title and reported to have been on the block for months. The heart of the operation is still the 120-year-old weekly magazine but it’s no longer the source of even a majority of revenue. Over the years, the company has become so adept at alternative revenue streams that online (including lucrative fantasy leagues), books and radio provide a little more than 50 percent of the roughly $60 million in revenue CEO Rick Allen mentioned to the NYT. None of it has resulted in a profit.
Allen (no relation to Paul) also told the Times he expects the company, which Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures acquired for the $100 million-plus from Times Mirror, to command “in the hundreds of millions” in a sale. (Perhaps he could place a bet with the people familiar with DailyCandy.com’s price tag as to who can come closer to hitting the mark.)
Online is one of TSN’s strong suits but it also got the company in a mess when the feds went after it for places ads promoting internet gambling. That resulted in a $7.2 million settlement earlier this year.
More from Reuters: Allen & Company (also no relation) is helping TSN evaluate takeover offers from “various financial and strategic companies.”