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TV Guide Magazine Sold to Publishing Firm NTVB

TV Guide Magazine has a new home: NTVB Media, a publisher specializing in TV listing grids, has acquired TVGM Holdings, owner of TV Guide Magazine and TVInsider.com, from OpenGate Capital.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. OpenGate bought TV Guide mag for $1 back in 2008 from then-owner Macrovision (now Rovi), which also loaned the venture-capital company $9.5 million to operate it.

TV Guide Magazine’s circulation has plummeted since its heyday in the 1970s, with the advent of on-screen programming guides and online listings. The mag, founded in 1953, currently has a weekly circ of about 1.8 million compared with more than 10 times that at its peak. According to NTVB, TV Guide Magazine has been profitable every year since 2009.

Troy, Mich.-based NTVB said the TVGM acquisition makes it the U.S.’s largest owner of consumer television publications, reaching more than 20 million consumers. NTVB’s flagship TV Weekly magazine is a region-specific television guide marketed in partnership with 160-plus U.S. newspapers with a total circulation of about 1 million; the company also publishes custom mags for customers of pay-TV providers including Comcast, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable.

“TV Guide Magazine has played an important role in television entertainment and pop culture for more than 60 years and is the perfect complement to our suite of media brands,” NTVB president and CEO Andy DeAngelis said in announcing the deal. “We believe that bringing the brand back into a publishing company focused on entertainment will help it flourish.”

The sale won’t clear up years of ongoing confusion between the print-based TV Guide and a separate CBS-owned entity, TV Guide Digital, which runs TVGuide.com and related mobile apps. (TV Guide Magazine operates a separate website.) Rovi in 2009 sold the digital properties to Lionsgate and One Equity Partners, before CBS acquired the entire stake in 2013.

NTVB said TVGM CEO David J. Fishman and CFO Joe Clemente will remain with the company. A rep for TV Guide Magazine said its planned year-end headcount is 62 with no major staff changes anticipated as a result of the NTVB deal.

TV Guide Magazine and TVInsider.com will maintain offices in New York, Los Angeles and Newtown Square, Pa. Media investment bank DeSilva + Phillips represented TVGM Holdings in the transaction.

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