The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is reporting that the Cycle World and Motorcyclist “magazines” may be up for sale. Citing an unnamed source, the WSJ says that Bonnier Corporation, which owns the motorcycle products is shopping them around.
Digital and print editions
Bonnier owns 24 different titles both in print and electronic editions. Fourteen of the titles like Boating, Sailing and Outdoor life are in print. Others, however, exist only as digital media.
Cycle World is still available in a print edition, although it now only releases four issues a year. Unfortunately, after many years as a print edition, Motorcyclist’s print edition ended with its July/August 2019 issue. Now, the “magazine” exists only in a digital format.
Bonnier exploring marketability
Now it seems that the longevity of many titles may be in question. According to the WSJ article, “Bonnier has been meeting with bankers to explore its options including the possible sale of the unit that holds most of its magazines.”
The WSJ claims that the talks are exploratory at this point. They quote a single person as saying:
“They first want to know what the media assets are worth before any decisions are made.”
But, the WSJ says that a banker hasn’t yet been retained.
Some titles not for sale
The WSJ article goes on to say that the company may keep other portions of its business.
Bonnier is expected to keep its Working Mother Media division, which includes two diversity consulting businesses, a conference business and a quarterly print publication called Working Mother. Bonnier also owns an events business called Bonnier Events, which is separate from Bonnier Media. It, too, is expected to be kept, the person said.
In 2018, Bonnier underwent significant restructuring. The result; both staff and cost reductions. In addition, the frequency of some titles was reduced. Bonnier thought this move would slash printing and distribution costs.
So it appears that Cycle World and Motorcyclist are on the chopping block. Let’s hope that if the titles find a new buyer, that buyer recognizes the value of these two motorcycling titles. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to bring them back to their former glory be it in print or digital media.