Hearst Magazines, Condé Nast sell national magazine distributor Comag Marketing Group to privately-owned Canadian conglomerate, enabling publishers to focus on core competencies

VANCOUVER, British Columbia , January 31, 2012 (press release) – The Jim Pattison Group (JPG), a privately owned, Vancouver, B.C.-based conglomerate which owns The News Group, one of the largest wholesale magazine distributors in North America, today announced that it has entered into a long-term relationship with Hearst Magazines and Condé Nast by acquiring national magazine distributor Comag Marketing Group, LLC (CMG). The sale was finalized today. Terms were not disclosed. Jay Felts will continue as president of CMG and the firm’s headquarters will remain in Princeton, New Jersey. CMG UK is not part of the transaction and will continue to be owned by National Magazine Company Ltd. and Condé Nast UK.

Michael Korenberg, deputy chairman of JPG and a member of its Board of Directors, said, “This transaction will strengthen the newsstand channel and, at the same time, enable Hearst and Condé Nast, as publishers, to focus on their core competencies—editorial development, retail marketing and consumer promotion. We believe that with the strength of its management team and systems, CMG can consolidate and improve publisher services as well as add stability for all stakeholders in the single-copy marketplace.”

Added CMG President Jay Felts: “JPG’s purchase of CMG represents a watershed moment to enhance the current supply chain model by properly aligning the economic models, which will better serve the needs of publishers, wholesalers and retailers. It is designed to migrate focus from inter-channel tension to a renewed collaboration with the retail trade on brand marketing and consumer promotion, ultimately growing the magazine category—which is our overarching goal.”

In a joint statement, Bob Sauerberg, president of Condé Nast, and David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, said: “We remain as committed as ever to this important channel for the distribution and sale of our magazines and believe that this acquisition will enable CMG to be even more effective in serving Hearst, Condé Nast and the industry at large.”

CMG is a national periodical distributor owned jointly since 2000 by Hearst Corporation and Condé Nast Publications, Inc. The company provides publishers of many of the world’s leading magazine brands with comprehensive sales, marketing and promotional services through a network of domestic and overseas sales venues, including mass market, direct-to-retail and specialty market channels.

Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com, @hearstcorp), is one of the world's largest publishers of monthly magazines, with 20 U.S. titles and more than 300 international editions, including 19 magazines in the United Kingdom through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Hearst Magazines UK. In the U.S., Hearst Magazines has more than 28 websites and 14 mobile sites and has published more than 150 applications and digital editions for mobile and tablet media.

Condé Nast is home to some of the world’s most celebrated media brands. In the United States, Condé Nast publishes 18 consumer magazines, four business-to-business publications, 27 websites, and more than 50 apps for mobile and tablet devices, all of which define excellence in their categories. The company also owns Fairchild Fashion Media (FFM), whose portfolio of brands serves as the leading source of news and analysis for the global fashion community. Condé Nast has won more National Magazine Awards over the past ten years than all of its competitors combined. Follow us on Twitter @CondeNastCorp.

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