NEW YORK Dennis Publishing, publisher of Maxim, Stuff, Blender and The Week, said it has put its stable of titles on the block, retaining media investment firm Allen & Co. to explore strategic alternatives.
The proposed sale includes all 31 international editions of Maxim (ranging from the U.K. to France, Russia and South America), and branded licensing deals with casinos in Las Vegas, as well as U.S.-based steakhouses, lounges and fashion bedding.
While Maxim and sibling Stuff paved the way during the laddie phase in the late 1990s, the category has matured in recent years, with the titles experiencing slower growth.
Maxim's total paid and verified circulation was flat at 2.5 million in last year's second half, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Newsstand sales dropped 12.2 percent. As for Stuff, its total paid and verified circ fell 4.8 percent to 1.25 million, missing its rate base of 1.3 million. Single-copy sales plunged 34.9 percent. Ad pages, however, were up at Maxim.
Through March, Maxim's ad pages grew 14.9 percent to 147, reports the Mediaweek Monitor. Stuff's ad pages dipped 2.4 percent to 138.
Meanwhile, its rivals fared much worse. Emap's FHM threw in the towel, folding last December, and former Dennis publisher Jamie Hooper's startup Giant was sold to Radio One for $275,000 and repositioned to serve the urban market.