Big changes are in store for Money magazine: it’s ceasing print publication and will be going digital-only, as owner Meredith has decided against selling the brand.
“We are going to invest in the digital money.com brand site itself as well as leverage the Money content across our portfolio,” a Meredith spokesperson said in an email. The magazine’s June/July print issue will be its last. The decision came after execs reevaluated what the brand would be worth as a digital-only property versus selling it, the spokesperson said.
Total unique visitors to money.com have wavered over the last two years, according to comScore, and peaked at 11.5 million visitors in February 2018. Last month, the most recent data available, the site attracted 5.2 million visitors.
The magazine was put up for sale not long after Meredith completed its massive acquisition of Time Inc. at the beginning of 2018, when executives decided to secure new owners for a handful of brands they inherited and prioritize other lifestyle titles in the portfolio.
Meredith executives had previously said they hoped all sales of the former Time Inc. brands would be finalized by the end of summer last year; they later revised their timeframe to the end of last year.
The company has already unloaded former Time Inc. brands Fortune and Time magazines after acquiring the brands. Fortune sold to Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon for $150 million in cash, and Time sold to Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, for $190 million in cash. Meredith has said it would use the money to pay down debts accrued in its $2.8 billion Time Inc. acquisition.
While billionaires have been quick to buy up those other brands, and media organizations like The Washington Post (Jeff Bezos) or attract big investments like in The Atlantic (from Laurene Powell Jobs through Emerson Collective), today’s news calls into question whether Money had the same kind of allure and dazzle to attract such similar star power.
Sports Illustrated, which Meredith is still selling, was rumored to be eyed by a group of athletes, but no sale has been confirmed. The Meredith spokesperson said the company was still working with interested parties on selling the brand. He didn’t give an updated timeline on when it might be completed.
Several other magazine titles were put up for sale last year—or at least were touted as being explored for a potential sale. Those include Condé Nast’s Brides, W and Golf Digest, in addition to the brands Meredith had put forth.
Meredith hasn’t shied away from reducing—or eliminating—a magazine’s print product before. Last year, executives decided to only print special newsstand issues for Cooking Light and Coastal Living. Hearst also eliminated print production for Redbook and Seventeen and Condé Nast did the same with Glamour’s print product.