Hot Poppin' Culture News From New York City

Maxim, King of Lad Magazines, Up for Sale; End of an Era?

Maxim magazine, which led the charge of lad mags in the 1990s is up for sale again.

Maxim magazine, which led the charge of lad mags in the 1990s is up for sale again.

Maxim magazine, which led the “lad” magazine revolution with its frat boy humor and hot bikini babes, is heading for the auction block again, in yet another sign that print publications are losing ground to the Internet.

After an incredible decade of expansion, Maxim, and magazines like it, Blender, Stuff and FHM saw their franchises begin to be eroded by the rise of blogs and online news sites.

Its latest issue is covered by Danielle Fishel, who played Topanga on the ’90s coming of age show “Boy Meets World.” Now 31, Fishel is reuniting with her co-star Ben Savage (Cory) for a new sitcom, “Girl Meets World.” They’re married with a teen daughter.

Danielle Fishel, Maxim’s Bikini Babe

The magazine reached a high point in 2006 when it announced plans to build a Las Vegas casino. But the deal was killed by citizen opposition. A year later the parent company was sold to private-equity investor Quadrangle Group.

In 2009, Dennis Publishing, which launched the brand, ended the print edition of Maxim’s UK flagship and published solely online.

Cerberus Capital Partners took over the company in 2009 and reorganized the magazines under the Alpha Media brand. It’s now exploring a potential sale, partnership or partial sale, the company said today.

The publication was cut to 10 issues from 12 issues over the past couple of years, and circulation was scaled back by 20 percent to 2 million from 2.5 million.

“It’s never been a matter of ‘if,'” Maxim President Ben Madden told AdAge about the sale. “It’s a matter of when. “They don’t have to sell if the price isn’t right or the partnership isn’t right,” he said.

Quadrangle paid $250 million for the publication along with Stuff and Blender, a music magazine. But Stuff and Blender quickly fell by the wayside.

Maxim’s ad pages fell by 22.2 percent last year, while the Publishers Information Bureau reported that overall ad pages fell by 8.2 percent, according to AdAge.

Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes announced last week that he is planning to spin off the company’s magazine titles, including flagship Time magazine after failing to find a buyer. Newsweek magazine, it’s look time competitor folded last year.


Subscribe To TheImproper's Email Newsletters, Free!