Immediate Media Company
|Predecessor(s)||Magicalia, BBC Magazines, Origin Publishing|
|Founded||London and Bristol, England (November 1, 2011)|
|Key people||CEO Tom Bureau|
Immediate Media Company Limited (styled as Immediate Media Co) is a combined publishing house containing the former assets of Origin Publishing, Magicalia and BBC Magazines. It was formed on 1 November 2011 and is owned by Exponent Private Equity. It publishes over 50 magazine titles and over 30 websites, and it employs 750 staff in its offices in Hammersmith, London and in Bristol. Its CEO is Tom Bureau who has a background in digital media as well as traditional publishing. 60% of Immediate's profit is generated by the Radio Times, which is now spearheading the company's moves into online retailing. In May 2014 Immediate announced its acquisition of Future plc for £24 million deal, acquiring the company's Sport and Craft titles and 130 staff.
Immediate's magazine titles include 23 former BBC Magazines titles published under long-term licence from BBC Worldwide. A list of them and the age groups towards which they are targeted is as follows:
- BBC Focus
- BBC History
- BBC Knowledge
- BBC Music
- BBC Wildlife
- BBC Sky at Night
- Easy Cook
- Gardeners' World
- Gardens Illustrated
- Good Food
- Good Homes
- Homes & Antiques
- How to be Better Off
- Radio Times
- Top Gear
- Who Do You Think You Are?
- Bob the Builder
- CBeebies Weekly
- Charlie and Lola
- Fifi and the Flowertots
- Me Too!
- Underground Ernie
One of the components that formed it was BBC Magazines, the magazine publishing division of BBC Worldwide, the commercial subsidiary of the BBC. The corporation had a long history of publishing magazines including the Radio Times which dates back to 1923. In 2007 BBC Magazines dropped plans to launch an international news-based magazine with the working title Newsbrief tied closely with the BBC's flagship current affairs programme, Newsnight. In late 2011 the BBC's magazine-publishing business was sold to Exponent Private Equity following the clearance by the Office of Fair Trading of the purchase. It is now part of the Immediate Media Company and BBC Magazines titles are published by Immediate under licence from BBC Worldwide.
Another component that made up Immediate was Magicalia Limited, a digital cross-media publisher and platform provider, based in London, England. In late 2011 the assets of Magicalia were combined with those of Origin Publishing and BBC Magazines to form Immediate. Tom Bureau, CEO of Magicalia, became the Chief Executive of the new company.
Magicalia was founded in 1999 as a digital-only publisher by entrepreneurs by Adam Laird and Jeremy Tapp with its inaugural website, bikemagic.com. The company owned a range of consumer magazines and online communities in the Parenting and Active markets. In the ecommerce division, Magicalia published websites for magazine clients and retailers. The company expanded over the following 10 years, and more web communities were added to the portfolio, including outdoorsmagic.com, golfmagic.com and roadcyclinguk.com. In 2000, Magicalia started to help publishers create and publish their own websites, with clients such as Runner's World (Rodale). The following year, Magicalia started building ecommerce platforms for retailers who wanted to create an online presence.
In 2006 Magicalia was acquired by Exponent Private Equity for £13m, which was closely followed by the acquisition of Encanta Media. Encanta published 9 special-interest magazines, and Magicalia wanted to create a cross-media strategy incorporating both print titles and online sites.[dead link] In 2007 Magicalia acquired Visordown.com, the motorcycle magazine Two Wheels Only (Haymarket) and Future Publishing's parenting titles, Junior, Junior Pregnancy and Baby, Pregnancy, Baby and You, with Practical Parenting  (IPC Media) a year later. In 2008 the company restructured, and the hobbyist magazine division split from the main business to form its own company, My Hobby Store. Former CNET Networks UK MD Tom Bureau joined as CEO and Duncan Tickell as MD Publishing from Incisive Media. The company moved to new premises in Islington, London and formed 2 new divisions within its digital and print businesses in the Parenting and Active sectors.
The following were divisions of Magicalia:
- Magicalia Parenting was made up of 2 parenting magazines and 4 pregnancy and parenting websites.
- Magicalia Active was formed of 6 special-interest websites and 1 magazine aimed at active, male 30-somethings.
- Magicalia Contract Publishing helped other publishers to create and publish their own websites, the largest of these being Runner's World magazine.
- Magicalia Commerce operated an ecommerce platform aimed at small and medium-sized retailers.
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