What happened to the sale of the American editions of Maxim, Blender and Stuff is something of a mystery. Closing bids for the Dennis Publishing magazines closed more than a week ago. An announcement was expected within days.
The word was that the magazines had gone to a company in the US called Quadrangle, headed by former lads’ mag editor Kent Brownridge. It was even reported that the price was between $200 and $250 million.
All that remained, it was said, was to cross the t’s and dot the i’s on the contract. But since then, there has been only silence.
Are there complications? Did the deal fall through? No one is saying.
Maxim, one of the biggest selling men’s mags in the US, with sales of over 2,500,000 is of course the biggest prize.
The lads’ mag scene has somewhat cooled lately – and some are even saying the heyday for babes and booze magazines is over, largely because American supermarkets are reluctant these days to display the provocative mags
But there was still big interest in who would acquire the Dennis titles. The only magazine not included in the deal was The Week, the mini-version of Time and Newsweek, which Felix Dennis prizes over all the others.
Ironically, when Dennis first thought four years ago of putting his American magazines on the market, the amount he was offered was around $700 million – much more than he has reputedly been offered now.
Of course he still holds title to the magazines’ names in connection with other franchises. In fact there is already talk of a chain of Maxim steakhouses, even a 2,300 room Maxim Hotel with strip club and casino in Las Vegas, although that, like the magazine deal, appears to have disappeared from the headlines for the moment.
Whatever happens, the influence of Dennis Publishing – particularly Maxim – is undisputed. As one editor of Esquire, David Granger, put it: ‘It brought millions of new men into the marketplace. All the men’s magazines benefited.”