NEW YORK -- It's a new day for Fairchild Publications here, parent of Supermarket News, Brand Marketing, Fairchild's Executive Technology, Women's Wear Daily, W magazine and a number of other trade and consumer publications .
Advance Publications signed an agreement last week to purchase Fairchild from the Walt Disney Co.
Advance, controlled by the Newhouse family, is the parent of Conde Nast, fashion titles of which include Vogue, Glamour, GQ, Mademoiselle, Allure, Brides and a host of other magazines.
The announcement of the deal, which has been the subject of numerous published reports for the last week or so, was made by Disney chairman and chief executive officer Michael D. Eisner and Advance chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr.
"We're thrilled to acquire the Fairchild publications, which we have always held in the highest respect for their journalistic quality and integrity," said Newhouse, in a statement.
"Fairchild Publications has long been a standard-bearer in the publishing industry under the strong leadership of Michael Coady and Patrick McCarthy," added Eisner, referring to Fairchild's president/CEO and chairman/editorial director, respectively. "During the past several years, we have been able to strengthen its competitive position even further, and we're confident that the publications will continue to thrive under Advance's leadership. Despite Fairchild's strengths, Disney is focused on the long-term growth of our core brands and entertainment assets."
Terms of the proposed sale were not disclosed. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed by the end of the current calendar year.
"This is wonderful news," said Fairchild's Coady and McCarthy, in a joint statement. "The Newhouse organization is a great publishing company, and this will insure a bright future for Fairchild."
Fairchild was founded 107 years ago when it began publishing news of the men's clothing industry and has since grown into an international stable of publications. in addition to the trade publications previously cited, titles include Daily News Record, Footwear News, Home Furnishings News, Salon News and Children's Business. Also included in the sale are a book division and Fairchild Urban Expositions, a trade show partnership.
Fairchild's consumer magazines are W, founded in 1972, and Jane, a lifestyle publication for young women launched in 1997. A third consumer magazine, Los Angeles, was not included in the deal and is being retained by Disney.
As part of the sale, Advance has agreed to grant Disney certain nonexclusive rights for its Buena Vista Internet Group to publish content from WWD, W and Jane within its on-line properties, including a new women's site. In addition, Disney and Advance have also agreed to explore forming an Internet joint venture using the content of all appropriate Advance and Disney magazines. "We are very excited about exploring this with Disney," said Steven Newhouse, president of Advance Internet, parent company of CondeNet, the company's Internet unit.
Last week's proposed deal marks the latest chapter in over a century of publishing at Fairchild. It was in 1892 when the brothers Louis E. and Edmund W. Fairchild began mimeographing sheets called the Daily Trade Record that were distributed to businessmen at the Chicago World's Fair. Those bulletins were the genesis of Daily News Record, the men's fashion publication.
At the turn of the century, the Fairchilds moved from Chicago to New York, and on May 21, 1910, Women's Wear Daily was born, starting as a page in the Saturday edition of Daily Trade Record. It was originally intended as a quarterly, but became a daily with its second issue. Beginning less than two months later -- on Wednesday, July 13 -- Women's Wear (as it was then called) was published every day but Sundays. Eventually, as the garment industry basically became a Monday-to-Friday business, so did WWD, publishing a newspaper every business day of the year, the schedule it continues to maintain. SN launched in 1952.
In 1968, Fairchild -- until then a family-owned operation -- was acquired by what was then known as Capital Cities Broadcasting Co., a publicly owned company then made up of only radio and TV stations.
Under the leadership of Louis W. Fairchild, Edmund W. Fairchild's son, Fairchild had grown to nine publications. In 1995 Fairchild went through another major change when Capital Cities/ABC -- by then, Cap Cities had acquired the American Broadcasting Co. -- was merged with Walt Disney in a deal valued at $19 billion.
Advance's Conde Nast division, in addition to its fashion titles, publishes Vanity Fair, House & Garden, Self, Details, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Bon Appetit and The New Yorker.
Among Advance's other holdings are such newspapers as the Staten Island Advance and the Newark Star-Ledger, Parade magazine, and a chain of city business journals and cable TV stations.