TV Guide, the print magazine now under the ownership of LA-based private equity firm OpenGate Capital, plans to launch a new website (at TVGuidemagazine.com which it owns) to accompany the mag. The only problem is that TVGuide.com exists, and was not sold by Macrovision (NSDQ: MVSN) as part of the sale, so not sure how the PE firm will navigate around that confusion. The closest parallel I can think of was the Wired.com and Wired magazine situation (the online part was owned by Lycos US and print by Conde Nast) that existed for a few years until Conde Nast bought back the online part two years ago.
In a story in NYT, the new print owner is hopeful of the magazine’s future viability, despite skepticism from everyone else in the industry. And as we reported first, the $1 sale price was not the full picture: OpenGate took on $70 million to $100 million in subscription liabilities, and of course is funding the business day to day.
Andrew Nikou, founder and managing partner of OpenGate, plans to acquire other entertainment magazines, TV stations or online sites to bolster the print. Nikou said that the magazine would be profitable by the end of next year. As for the website, when it launches early next year, it will not have TV listings, but will feature blogs, chats and behind-the-scenes material from cover shoots, the story says. Then why didn’t they just pay up more to buy TVGuide.com from Macrovision? I would not be surprised if MVSN changes its mind sometime next year and actually does that….