Dennis Publishing, the UK-owned publisher of the best-selling news digest The Week, in the UK and US, has acquired the 99-year-old Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Kiplinger publishes the eponymous paid-subscription newsletters in business and personal finance.
Its most widely-read products are: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, the 600k-circulation monthly magazine which is credited with having pioneered US personal finance journalism in 1947, and Kiplinger. com, its website with 4m monthly uniques. The company, which was founded in 1920 in Washington, DC, has been managed by three generations of the Kiplinger family.
Dennis is a UK-based magazine publisher, founded in 1974 by the late Felix Dennis. The £190m-revenue company was sold to Exponent private equity for £170m last year. The Kiplinger deal is likely to figure largely in the expansion of The Week in the US, which currently has 550k paid-for print subscribers and 5.8m monthly uniques. But its brands might also be part of the strategy for Dennis’ UK-based Money Week.
The Week’s readership success is based on its concise, well-written summaries and genuine balance in an increasingly polarised news landscape. It is believed to have ambitions to expand to other markets in Asia and Europe on the way to becoming a global print and digital brand. But this round of private equity ownership is focused on the US edition, evidenced by the inspired appointment of Jack Griffin (ex CEO of Tribune, Time Inc and Meredith) as Chair of Dennis.
While the company remains a significant publisher of motoring, tech and hobby magazines in the UK, its profitability – and future growth – are heavily dependant on The Week. It will be interesting to see how many other specialist news-information businesses Dennis now seeks to acquire in the US and UK – and whether such activity is punctuated by the divestment of its traditional, low-growth magazines.