Wyndham Destinations has paid $100m to Meredith Corp for the Travel + Leisure magazine portfolio in a “sale and leaseback” deal which will see Wyndham licence the properties back to Meredith for 30 years. Content will remain independent and the monthly print magazine will continue. Travel + Leisure claims an international readership of 35m.
Wyndham will change its own name to Travel + Leisure and will seek to expand its remit within travel business and services beyond its existing travel club and timeshare remit. The company will offer branded travel experiences. Meredith is to be paid $35m in cash upfront with the remaining $65m across the next four years. Travel + Leisure was acquired by Time Inc from American Express Publishing in 2013 and became part of Meredith when it acquired Time five years later.
In some ways, this deal is just the latest in a series of hospitality brands using magazines to reach new audiences with trusted media. In 2017, Away (a suitcase brand) launched its own print and digital travel magazine, Airbnb has collaborated for three years with Hearst Corp on a sponsored publication. And Skift points out that RCI, a timeshare firm owned by Wyndham Destinations, already has an eponymous magazine, formerly known as Endless Vacation.
This latest deal may be expected to get more magazine publishers thinking of the sponsorship possibilities for those legacy magazines still with strong content and branding, but depressed revenues.