BBC departs from magazine publishing

BBC Worldwide is selling its stake in an Indian publisher and its business that controls magazine Radio Times in order to focus more on digital services and international video, the BBC announced today.

The UK broadcaster’s commercial arm has sold most of its magazines to Exponent private equity group, as well as its 50 percent stake in its Indian joint venture, Worldwide Media, to Bennett, Coleman and Co., which owns the Times of India, paidContent explained. The deals total £121 million, according to the Financial Times.

Magazine titles Top Gear, Lonely Planet, Good Food and Easy Cook will be retained by BBC Magazines, but they will be published under contract by Exponent, the BBC noted.

In all, 11 non-BBC branded magazines were sold outright to Exponent, while 18 BBC-branded titles, such as Garners’ World, BBC Music and BBC Wildlife, will be licensed by Exponent.

“The deal announced today offers the best prospects for the magazines business to continue on this path of success, while BBC Worldwide pursues a strategy increasingly focused on international video and digital services,” said John Smith, CEO of BBC Worldwide.

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