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You’re reading it here first… Former CNET (NSDQ: CNET) UK MD Tom Bureau, who quit in June 2007 after leading a relocation project to add a new video focus, will become CEO of consumer publisher Magicalia. Bureau had said upon leaving he was talking with private equity groups about a possible new digital venture (he teamed with Exponent Private Equity to bid for Emap) but he became an independent consultant.
Founded in 1999 as a cross-media publisher by Jeremy Tapp and Adam Laird, Magicalia runs over 45 sites, numbering several of its own brands including BikeMagic and ThinkBaby. It also operates sites on behalf of magazine publishers including NatMags, publishes magazines and seeks to create online/print communities.
It was bought by Exponent in 2006, giving it a big acquisition fund, and promptly bought up speciality mag publisher Encanta Media. In the last few months, it’s bought several parenting magazines from Future and IPC. Tapp and Laird, who have been joint MDs, will continue as non-executive directors, and Bureau has already hired Incisive publishing director Duncan Tickell. The company will now split its cross-media and digital-only operations.
Burea told me: “We are hiving the Encanta unit off in to separate trading company and we’re left with the fast-growing opportunities in digital. We want to have more of a digital emphasis on the two cross-media markets that we have (parenting and motorbikes) and also develop more of our digital standalone marketplace. We’ll definitely be looking at acquisition opportunities as they come along, both online and in print.”