Newsweek Inc., a subsidiary of The Washington Post Co., agreed to sell Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel to a financial buyer, following industry speculation that the magazine might be sold or shut down.
Fletcher Asset Management agreed to buy Newsweek’s equity interests in Budget Travel, including its companion Web site, and said it would keep most of the employees. The deal is expected to close by Dec. 31. Terms were not disclosed.
With its no-frills approach to travel, Budget Travel might seem to be well-positioned to weather an economic downturn. The title has suffered steep advertising declines along with most magazines, though, its ad pages down 23 percent to 476 in 2009, per the Mediaweek Monitor. Condé Nast Traveler’s ad pages, meanwhile, declined 41 percent to 964, while Travel + Leisure’s fell 24 percent to 1,128.
The Washington Post Co., which also owns Newsweek magazine, cable and education businesses as well as its namesake newspaper, has been trimming costs at its ad-supported businesses during the past year to offset shortfalls in ad revenue.