The intellectual property of Sports Illustrated–including its library of more than two million images, its name and such brands as its Sportsperson of the Year awards and swimsuit —has been sold to Authentic Brands Group for $110 million. What was not included in the transaction was the magazine and website, which Meredith will continue to run for at least two years. Meredith will pay ABG an undisclosed licensing fee for use of the brand name on the publication. Sports Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Stone and publisher Danny Lee will keep their positions, according to a press release from Meredith. ABG currently owns the brands of celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley, as well as companies like Fredericks of Hollywood and Juicy Couture. It says it expects to make the deal pay off through endeavors including live sports, e-sports and sports gambling.
It looks like Condé Nast is about to shed W Magazine, the last of the three titles it put on the auction block last year. A report in the New York Post says that Surface Media, which produces a quarterly magazine and website focused on design and architecture, is zeroing in on a deal to pick up the publication for around $7 million. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Stefano Tonchi earlier tried to put together a buyout proposal for the title. Adrian Cheng, founder of C Ventures, a Hong Kong-based venture capital company that focuses on emerging fashion & media and creative businesses, was also a rumored buyer. The Alliance for Audited Media put W’s circulation at 435,438 as of December 2018.
PBS NewsHour is receiving $1.7 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to help expand CANVAS, its broadcast and digital arts reporting initiative. As part of the expansion, NewsHour has launched a dedicated CANVAS website, relaunched its Twitter account and started up a new Facebook Group. It will also experiment with augmented reality and other innovative ways to model artwork for online audiences. The Knight Foundation says that its investment in CANVAS is part of its efforts to support the arts as a means to build stronger, better informed and more engaged communities. “Through its iconic national programming and expanded digital presence, PBS NewsHour’s CANVAS elevates art as national news, said Knight Foundation vice president for the arts Victoria Rogers.
Esquire editor-in-chief Jay Fielden, who took over from longtime editor David Granger in March 2016, has resigned. He will also be leaving the editorial director post at fellow Hearst title Town & Country, where he served as editor-in-chief from 2011 to 2016. Fielden joins a list of senior executives who have left Hearst Magazines since Troy Young was named president last year. In addition to president, marketing and publishing director Michael Clinton, who retired in May after 21 years, that list includes former Cosmopolitan editor Joanna Coles, who exited her position as chief content officer last August. Hearst is in the midst of a major reshuffling that is placing considerably more emphasis on digital than print. Fielden’s departure follows an incident in which Hearst management pulled an exposé of film director Bryan Singer that Fielden had overseen, which was picked up by The Atlantic after it was killed.