Athlon Media Group – Leading Publisher’s Acquisition Enhances Offerings to Clients
Athlon Media Group is one of the biggest publishing companies in the U.S. Its properties include Parade, Athlon Sports & Life, Relish, Spry Living, American Profile’s Community Table, Communitytable.com, and numerous preseason sports annuals under Athlon Sports & Entertainment Group (SEG). Athlon has more than 1,400 newspaper partners across the U.S. in print, mobile and digital platforms. When another large publisher, Harris Publications, shut down, Athlon sought to purchase Harris’s approximately 74 publication titles and related intellectual property, valued at more than $2 billion. Athlon called on Arnall Golden Gregory to help with acquiring the titles.
In the deal, Athlon agreed to assume Harris’s obligations under (1) printing agreement with RR Donnelly and Sons, (2) distribution agreement with Curtis Circulation Co, and (3) the outstanding subscription liabilities, leaving more money for creditors. Arnall Golden Gregory negotiated with the assignee and various creditors to finalize the transaction, which was subsequently approved in the New York State Supreme Court. The court received objections to the transaction from several third parties; however, all such objection were overruled in favor of the Athlon proposal.
Athlon formed a new division, PEP or Partner Enhancement Program, to provide premium content to brands, including the newspaper partners. Former Harris properties were added to PEP. “Harris’s assets in the outdoor, pop culture, gardening and decorating categories will allow us to broaden the scope of topics and products we can offer via the PEP division,” Tracey Altman, executive vice president of AMG/Parade, said in a press release.
- Matthew V. Wilson
- J. Tucker Barr