Hearst Buys Rodale's Content Business

The acquisition will also bolster Hearst’s position within the licensing industry and on License Global’s annual Top 150 Global Licensors report.

NORTH AMERICA–Hearst revealed that it has agreed to acquire Rodale’s magazine and book businesses, which includes publications such as Women’s Health, Men’s Health and Runner’s World.

Following the acquisition, Rodale’s multi-platform content business will be managed by Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst with more than 300 editions and websites worldwide. Further details of the acquisition were not disclosed; however, it is expected to close in early 2018 following necessary government approvals.

“Maria Rodale has grown her family’s business into a peerless authority that reaches an enormous audience,” says David Carey, president, Hearst Magazines. “Hearst and Rodale are already publishing partners around the world, including the U.K., the Netherlands and Japan, and we’ve seen first-hand how the content resonates. We are pleased to add them and all of Rodale’s brands to our vibrant and varied global portfolio, providing readers with dependable information and offering marketers unbeatable scale and a trustworthy environment in the increasingly important health and wellness space.”

In terms of licensing, Rodale is the world’s No. 121 largest licensor, reporting $155 million in licensed retail sales in 2016, according to License Global’s Top 150 Global Licensors report. The company has also made substantial strides with Men’s Health, which currently boasts subscription boxes, frozen entrees, multiple licensing agents and digital media editions in international markets. Rodale has also licensed Runner’s World magazine for monthly subscription boxes.

The acquisition will also elevate Hearst’s position within the licensing industry. In 2016, the company was the world’s No. 84 largest licensor, reporting $350 million in licensed retail sales. Top licensed properties for the brand include Seventeen, Esquire, Car and Driver, Country Living, Metropolitan Home and Good Housekeeping.

“We have a long-standing respect for Hearst’s commitment to connecting consumers with imaginative, engaging content across an ever-diversifying choice of platforms, technologies and experiences around the world,” says Maria Rodale, chief executive officer, Rodale. “We believe our exceptional brands, businesses and employees will thrive in this culture of innovation and we are confident that Hearst’s stewardship will continue to grow the passionate and purpose-driven communities that Rodale has built over the past 70 years.”