Comag Marketing Group, the national magazine distributor jointly owned by Hearst Magazines and Condé Nast, has been acquired by the Vancouver-based Jim Pattison Group, the companies announced today. JPG also owns The News Group—the biggest periodical wholesaler in North America—in addition to other properties ranging from food to automotive.
Coming at a time when magazine newsstand sales have been experiencing prolonged weakness, the acquisition is being positioned as a way to bolster the distribution model. “This transaction will strengthen the newsstand channel,” JPG deputy chairman and marketing director Michael Korenberg said in a statement.
CMG president Jay Felts—who plans to stay on in his role—added that the acquisition “is designed to migrate focus from interchannel tension to a renewed collaboration with the retail trade on brand marketing and consumer promotion, ultimately growing the magazine category—which is our overarching goal.”
The sale of CMG will also allow Hearst and Condé Nast to return to their main focus on the magazines, with the capital no longer going toward CMG getting reinvested into marketing and promotion, Hearst Magazines general manager John Loughlin told Folio.
CMG will continue to be headquartered in Princeton, N.J. The company’s U.K. division was not included in the deal and will continue to be owned by National Magazine Company Ltd. and Condé Nast U.K. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.