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Penske Media Acquires Artforum Magazine

Adding another niche magazine to Penske Media’s stable of brands

Penske Media Corporation is adding another magazine to its stable of brands – Artforum International Magazine, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Penske Media describes Artforum as “a leading voice in the contemporary art world” including contemporary art criticism. Artforum will be editorially independent of Penske Media’s brands, including ARTnews and Art in America. Details of the deal were not disclosed.

From an operational and editorial perspective, much will stay the same. Publisher Danielle McConnell and associate publisher Kate Koza will remain at the helm of Artforum’s operations, and editor David Velasco will manage editorial content. Artforum will continue to be a print and digital publication.

Artforum’s quality and authority in the art world is unparalleled,” said Jay Penske, chairman and CEO of Penske Media, in a December 7, 2022 news release. “Over the last 60 years, they have built a culture- and genre-defining brand known around the world, with one of the few insightful global perspectives on art. I have great admiration for the hard work Tony, Danielle, Kate, and David have done to make Artforum such a success. I look forward to a bright future with this very talented team.” 

Artforum uses a freemium model. Online readers can view three articles before hitting their paywall. A digital-only subscription is $50, a print-and-digital subscription for two years is $100, and a print-and-digital subscription for one year is $60.

In addition to Artforum, Penske Media owns many other publications and media outlets, including Variety, Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, WWD, BGR, Deadline, Vibe, IndieWire and Spy.com. The company also owns cultural events, including SXSW, LA3C and Life is Beautiful. They are headquartered in New York and Los Angeles with offices in 14 other countries. Penske Media boasts 378 million monthly active users, 23 brands, 548 million video views, and 412 million social followers.

McConnell also commented on the deal.

“Our highest priority is to maintain the continued legacy of our print publication while ensuring a vigorous digital expansion,” said McConnell. We are thrilled to work alongside Jay Penske, who has understood these objectives from the outset. PMC’s media infrastructure will provide dynamic, amplified opportunities for Artforum’s international community of artists, galleries, museums, and other valued partners.” 

Anthony Korner, longtime publisher and an Artforum shareholder, will serve as the publication’s ambassador.

“I’m proud to have been part of Artforum’s impressive evolution as the leading voice and record of contemporary art during my time as publisher. As Artforum looks to its next chapter, we have found a strong steward in Jay Penske and PMC. PMC is committed to Artforum’s mission and invested in ensuring the magazine continues to uphold the highest editorial standards in the industry,” said Korner.

In the news release, Velasco said he looks forward to working with Artforum’s talented writers, artists and editors. Koza said that Artforum has set the standard for contemporary art criticism, and the brand has focused on expanding their digital footprint since 2020 to complement the print magazine.

“We are excited to foster further growth across our platforms. We have found a strong partner in PMC, whose resources will support our team’s creativity and vision and help us carry Artforum’s legacy into the future,” said Koza.

Insider Take

In the last 16 years, Penske Media has become a force in the magazine world, covering everything from music and entertainment to sports and fashion. The acquisition of Artforum looks like a good complement to their existing publications. Under Penske Media’s ownership, Artforum may be able to further expand their reach.

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