BOSTON-Reed Elsevier’s announced buyout of Chilton Publications last week spells the end of the Cahners name in publishing.
Reed agreed to pay $447 million in cash to buy the three principal divisions of Chilton Business Group in Radnor, Pa., from ABC, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Co. The acquisition, subject to government approval, should be finalized next month.
The impending deal also left some media buyers questioning how the two trade book publishers will integrate their holdings, especially since some of the magazines compete directly.
Chilton’s U.S. trade magazine and research divisions will be merged with Cahners Publishing Co. in Newton, Mass., to form a new operating group called Reed Elsevier Business Information.
Chilton’s Electronic Design News Products (EDN) directly competes with Electronic Computer News (ECN). Both magazines are aimed at semiconductor design engineers.
In fact, after the deal is finalized, five magazines-EDN, EDN Products, ECN, Electronic Business Today and Electronic News-will all address the same audience of some 300,000 semiconductor engineers, said Christine Shaw of Freeman Associates in Wellesley, Mass.
“This has definitely caused me to stop and think when I’m doing my media buy,” she said. “There’s a tremendous overlap. I’ll be watching with a very careful eye and really scrutinizing the dollars I spend until they articulate their strategy.”
Acknowledging that the focus has not been on individual publications in bringing this deal about, Bruce Barnet, the president and chief executive officer of Cahners, issued a statement. It read, in part, “Our approach to this acquisition has been to expand content for our readers and end users and to expand both market coverage and opportunities for our advertisers. We have not focused on individual titles.”