Now that it's out of bankruptcy, Reader’s Digest Association is loosening its purse strings. A little over a year after emerging from a prepackaged bankruptcy, the publisher of the eponymous pocket-sized magazine is set to announce its first acquisition Wednesday morning.
RDA is buying online vertical network Haven Home Media, expanding its footprint in the home and DIY market where RDA already publishes homespun titles like Family Handyman and Birds & Blooms.
RDA has had its eye on expanding in this space for a while; a few years ago, it took a look at the HGTV magazine concept. (It took a pass, though, and HGTV found a partner in Hearst Magazines.)
Since coming out of bankruptcy in early 2010, the RDA, led by Mary Berner, has taken steps to expand its flagship to digital platforms and made small moves to expand its home and health titles. But the acquisition is the most significant about-face after the cost cutting that’s dominated the company in recent years.
New York-based Haven Home was founded in 2009 by Daniel Meehan. A former Scripps digital salesman, he built Haven Home into one of the biggest aggregators of home and garden content online. It claims to have a network of more than 70 websites representing an audience of 14 million. Meehan will join RDA as vice president of integrated solutions and digital development for the Lifestyle Communities division. The price that RDA paid for Haven Home was not disclosed.