Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Retweet: Zinio gets new CEO and looks ready to sell

The digital newsstand company Zinio last week announced some major changes to the company that will no doubt effect magazine publishers. The changes appear to have been instituted by the private equity firm behind the company, Gilvest.

A new CEO has been named, Rusty Lewis, and the co-founder and former CEO Rich Maggiotto has been given the title of Chief Innovation Officer (ouch). A new board has been established made up of folks from the investment side rather than industry leaders.

Zinio was originally sold to the private equity company Gilvest in 2007. That makes it over five years with investment, and as any M&A guy will tell you, that is usually the outside limit of most PE investments. The world of digital publishing is very different today than just a few years ago before the launch of tablets. Flipbooks and online digital magazines have pretty much been replaced with mobile and tablet editions. Additionally, the launch of Next Issue Media by major publishing houses calls into question whether Zinio and continue to compete online or inside tablets.

Zinio remains one of the most popular digital newsstand with more than 5,000 titles available. But these moves don't look like a company looking for a way to expand its business, it looks like a company searching for a way out.