Maxim, the men's lifestyle periodical that rode the tidal wave of laddie magazines in the 1990s, is putting itself up for sale after years of decline. Parent Alpha Media Group said it's in the process of exploring a "potential investment, partnership or sale" of the title.
Rumors that the magazine was on the block have been rampant for months, fueled by parent Alpha Media's hire of publishing vet Jack Kliger to shape up the publication's financial picture. That was followed by a cut in the rate base and frequency, and layoffs. It's hard to imagine who the potential buyers might be, but it wouldn't be surprising if Kliger himself, who knows the finances and turned around TV Guide, would be interested.
Maxim has had some success in extending its brand to digital platforms, including video, iPad and Xbox Live; in the second half of 2012, it had the most digital sales of all consumer magazines behind Game Informer, averaging nearly 260,000 digital copies. But its core print advertising business has plunged since its heyday; in all of 2012, it sold 392 ad pages, less than half of what it carried in 2007 when it topped 930 (Publishers Information Bureau).