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March 28, 2023

Telegraph adds 2.5m monthly magazine readers with Chelsea Magazine Company buyout

Chelsea Magazine Company publishes titles including The English Home, The English Garden and Classic Boat.

By Charlotte Tobitt

The Telegraph Media Group is hoping to “deepen subscriber relationships” with its acquisition of independent lifestyle publisher Chelsea Magazine Company.

CMC publishes specialist consumer brands including The English Home, The English Garden, Britain, Artists and Illustrators and Classic Boat and claims to reach a monthly audience of 2.5 million in the UK and elsewhere.

According to ABC The English Home, one of its biggest titles, had an average monthly print circulation in 2022 of 72,494, of which 70% were paid subscriptions. The English Garden had an average circulation of 51,972 – of which 75% were subscriptions.

The Telegraph has been focused on building its subscription business for several years, leading it to, for example, stop making its print circulation public via ABC and make investments into puzzles. In December it had 733,731 subscriptions across print and digital, of which 586,867 were digital, and it says it now has more than 750,000 in total.

TMG said CMC’s brands attract subscribers in the UK and US and are “highly complementary” to the Telegraph publications and subscriber base.

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The publisher said the acquisition would further “TMG’s vision to reach more subscribers than ever before” and provide a wider offering to subscribers of both its and CMC’s brands.

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TMG chief executive Nick Hugh said: “The success of our subscription strategy over the last five years has put TMG in a strong position, providing us with the capability to invest in other publishing groups.

“I am delighted that CMC will be joining TMG and our portfolio of award-winning publications. This investment will help us to deepen our subscriber relationships and scale our market both in the UK and the US, furthering our vision to reach more subscribers than ever before.”

CMS was founded in 2007 by Paul Dobson, who is now executive chairman of the publisher but will be stepping down as a result of the acquisition – which he said would “take our subscriber offering to the next level”.

His son James is managing director of CMC and will be continuing with the business. He said: “TMG offers a fantastic platform to grow print and digital audiences, and together with my CMC colleagues, I am excited to work alongside such an established industry leader.”

CMC’s brands also include Baby, Wedding Ideas, Little London, Sailing Today, Racecar Engineering, Scotland, and Cruise and Travel.

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