Friday, April 13, 2007

MAG auto enthusiast titles sold to Primedia

A couple of young men who built a formidable print empire serving young, mostly male,muscle and performance car enthusiasts, sold their Toronto-based Modified Automotive Group MAG) to the a large American rival, Primedia. The deal was announced in a release from Primedia in February but was apparently not noticed in Canadian media until now.

According to a story in mastheadonline (sub req'd), Rob Laidlaw and Jesse Rasch started the Modified Automotive Group in 1999.
Both loved automobiles and motorsports and felt the market was underserved, Rasch has written in his blog. In 2002, when most publishers busied themselves trying to plant flags online, Laidlaw and Rasch utilized VerticalScope’s online infrastructure and communities of interest to take a stab at the ink-on-paper model with the launch of Modified Mag, a monthly glossy aimed squarely at young American men and their souped-up cars. This was followed by two other launches, Modified Luxury & Exotics (8x/yr), and Modified Mustangs (12x/yr). Combined with complementary websites and 17 branded, auto-related online forums, the Modified Automotive Group (MAG) boasts audience reach levels in the millions.
Primedia publishes mainstream properties like Motor Trend and were up against MAG with their own titles such as Sport Compact Car (est. 1989), Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords, said the Masthead story.

So if you can't lick 'em, you buy 'em.

The Enthusiast Media Division of Primedia is said to be America’s #1 special interest media company, with more than 75 magazines, 100 websites, 70 events, two television programs, 400 branded products, and such well-known brands as Motor Trend, Automobile, Automotive.com, Equine.com, Power & Motoryacht, Hot Rod, Snowboarder, Stereophile, Surfer, and Wavewatch.com. Its other market is in free consumer guides, through Consumer Source Inc.

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