Magazines. The £90m-revenue Hearst UK may be planning a “material acquisition in a complementary business” over the next 12 to 18 months as part of a shift to becoming a “premium content and experience business”, according to chief operating officer Claire Blunt. Speaking at last week’s Digital Media Strategies conference in London, she said: “We’ve started to talk this year about seeing ourselves as a premium content and experience business – and so I guess one has to conclude that our complementary business would be in the space of enabling us to be that.”
Blunt’s words sent brokers scurrying even though 12-18 months seems a long way off and the parent company may first be pressing for more economies in its London-based magazine portfolio. Or not. Perhaps we can expect to see Hearst acquire a UK content marketing company or even an exhibitions organiser. But should CEO James Wildman go for Ollie Lloyd’s Great British Chefs ? The inspired, privately-owned eight-year-old online recipe, publishing, food research and insights business (with revenues of perhaps £2m) could be a perfect fit for Hearst’s Good Housekeeping whose influential GH Institute operates a London cookery school and carries out tests on behalf of food and kitchen equipment manufacturers. Way to go.