It's the end of an era for independent print media in Toronto, and the beginning of a new era for NOW Magazine as the city's longest-running free, alternative weekly sells to a publicly-traded equity firm.
Media Central Corporation Inc., which trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange as FLYY, announced on Monday morning that it had entered into an agreement with the owners of NOW Magazine to aquire the weekly newspaper, as well as its website and any other assets related to the Toronto-born brand.
The deal is described as "an all-cash, arm's length transaction" with a purchase price of up to $2 million — $1 million of it payable up front and the rest "subject to achievement by NOW of certain agreed metrics over a 12-month period following the date of acquisition."
BIG NEWS! MediaCentral acquires NOW Magazine, an iconic brand for the alternative voice in #media. This marks the first step in MediaCentral’s move to preserve independent weeklies across North America: https://t.co/JCelrHWQAA pic.twitter.com/K8gY5pj6gY— MediaCentral (@mediacentralc) December 2, 2019
Once the aquisition is finalized, NOW will be Media Central's second property, the first being a "robust news, lifestyle and community cannabis platform" called CannCentral.com, which went live in September.
"NOW readers love and trust the NOW brand because they can count on the quality and authenticity of its content," said Alice Klein, who co-founded NOW with Michael Hollett in 1981, in a press release issued Monday.
"It is exciting to enter the next stage of NOW's evolution with MediaCentral, a young, ambitious and tech-savvy media company committed to maintaining and enhancing NOW's strong independent and alternative voice while realizing its potential for growth and innovation."
Well, that's the beginning of the end. NOW Magazine has been sold to some dude who thinks it's some sort of journal of the "Creative Class": https://t.co/KmpmimJfgu (h/t @CraigSilverman) pic.twitter.com/X1jzTd2bGe— Jonathan Goldsbie (@goldsbie) December 2, 2019
Media Central promised in the same press release that it "intends to preserve the legacy, integrity and magnitude of NOW's historic influence" while simultaneously "guiding it into its next evolution."
It remains to be seen what that will look like, as Media Central says it will make no immediate changes to the NOW brand.
What the company does promise to do in a cringeworthy video about monetizing the creative class, however, is "influence, absorb and exploit momentum from emerging trends" by targeting "the influencers, tastemakers and culture leaders of the world."
Take that as you will.
by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO