IPC Media issued many ‘magazine sold’ press releases in October. All the corporate releases started "As part of the review of IPC Media’s niche and specialist titles, the company today announces the sale of…"
At the beginning of October, Guitar & Bass was sold to Anthem Publishing. At the end of October, The Railway Magazine was sold to Mortons Media Group.
During the rest of the month, and to a variety of rival publishers, IPC sold Loaded, Superbike, Prediction, Hair, Caravan, Web User, Hi-Fi News, Aeroplane, and Ships Monthly.
IPC Media produces three bicycle magazines: monthlies Mountain Bike Rider and Cycle Sport, and Cycling Weekly.
Following the publication of this story, a journalist at Cycling Weekly tweeted:
"Oh, and one more thing for Bik Biz’s [sic] attention (they’re a bit slow), we publish Cycling Active too. Do try to keep up guys."
When clicking on Cycling Weekly on the IPC Media website, Cycle Sport and Mountain Bike Rider pop up as "linked media".
Cycle Active does not pop up in the same cross-pollinating way; instead it’s listed on its own among IPC’s 80+ other titles.
So, are the four titles up for sale along with the rest of IPC’s "niche and specialist" portfolio?
Chris Taylor, head of media relations at IPC, wouldn’t be drawn:
"IPC’s review is ongoing and as such, I’m not able to comment on specific brands."
Despite a top executive refusing to rule out a sale of the cycle titles, and confirming that a review of its titles is ongoing, a journalist at Cycling Weekly tweeted:
"Oh dear Bike Biz, how wrong can you be? You should double check your sources before publishing a story, or you make youself look very silly."
Influential blogger Matt of The Inner Ring has subsequently tweeted that IPC Media’s many other "niche" titles are up for sale.
He wrote: "Time Warner is reviewing IPC’s portfolio of publishing assets but the cycling titles are important to growth."
A recent update from Cycling Weekly on its twitterfeed said "We’re not getting into a Twitter fight with anyone. We know why the story was printed & we know it’s drivel. End of."
Via my twitterfeed (Cycling Weekly journalists don’t answer my emails) I have asked the magazine why the journalist(s) in charge of their twitterfeed chose to name-call BikeBiz journalists rather than simply deny any sale negotiations are taking place. No replies have yet been received.
In October, IPC reported a 37 percent fall in profits for 2009 on revenue of £351m, a reduction of 11 per cent.