Macrovision Finds Buyer for ‘TV Guide’

NEW YORK TV Guide is poised to change hands for the second time in a year, as parent Macrovision has found a buyer in Beverly Hills, Calif.-based private equity firm OpenGate Capital.
The sale, whose terms were not disclosed, is expected to close Dec. 1.
Macrovision, a video technology company, was expected to sell the magazine but keep its Web counterpart, along with Gemstar’s video programming grid technology, when it bought parent Gemstar-TV Guide in May for $2.8 billion in cash and stock.
The periodical’s future home is a firm that’s heavily invested in technology but new to the media and entertainment sector. OpenGate will be challenged to grow a title that serves a consumer faced with numerous options for television listings and celebrity news.
Under new editor Debra Birnbaum, the weekly recently redesigned with a bolder color scheme and greater emphasis on photos, news and personalities.

Still, this year, TVG has suffered in the softening economy along with the rest of its category; ad pages were down almost 10 percent to 800 through Oct. 13, per the Mediaweek Monitor.
Circulation has stabilized since the title cut its rate base by two-thirds and converted to a full-size magazine from a digest format. In the first half of 2008, total paid and verified circ rose 0.3 percent to 3.3 million, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.