Last week multi-platform health and wellness publisher Rodale, Inc. announced that it was exploring a variety of ‘potential strategic alternatives’ for its future. This could include the sale of the company, groups of businesses, or individual segments of the business, as part of its long-term strategy. Rodale, a privately-held company, has engaged Allen & Company LLC as a financial advisor to guide the process. There is no set schedule for the strategic review, and the company said it will not disclose developments during the process.
With 100 editions in 67 countries, the 87-year-old company is known for its health and wellness magazines, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention, Runner’s World and Bicycling, but it also sells books and products, experiences tied to their brands, and licensing opportunities. Media Post said that Rodale is “rumored” to earn about $300 million to $350 million in revenue per year.
Rodale says it reaches more than 100 million globally through its distribution channels and draws more than 100,000 participants to experiences annually, including Rugged Maniac, a 5K with 25 unexpected obstacles and The Life Time Tri Series. In addition, Rodale takes credit for launching the organic movement in the United States in 1942. Based primarily in Emmaus, Pennsylvania and New York, the company has about 700 employees in various locations.
“For over 70 years Rodale has inspired exceptional customer loyalty through its uncompromising commitment to the creation of health and wellness content with a purpose,” said Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale, in the announcement.
“We believe that Rodale’s brands can continue to expand and deepen their connectivity with consumers across all platforms through targeted investment and expertise in leading edge technology, brand-building, and commercialization,” the CEO added. “We are excited to explore opportunities for potential buyers of our business who can build on the strong foundation of our commitment to inspiring health, healing, happiness and love by enhancing core capabilities and resources for our brands.”
This is just the latest news in a series of transitions for the company. In March, Rodale announced that it was reorganizing the company, including naming Adam Campbell as chief content officer, Ronan Gardiner as chief advertising officer and Bill Strickland as group editorial director.
“Our primary goal is to ensure that we are aligned for growth, collaboration, and efficiency,” said CEO Maria Rodale in a statement. “With this new organization in place, we have unified processes and streamlined team structure to unlock fresh opportunities for innovation and long-term growth.”
This has been a tough year for the publishing industry. Last week we reported that Time Inc. will be cutting 300 jobs, and earlier this year, The New York Times offered buyouts to employees, the Chicago Sun-Times is up for sale, and Gannett, BH Media Group and The Guardian have all announced staff cuts, just to name a few. The time is ripe for companies to cut costs, reorganize and buy and sell until they find their sweet spot between revenue streams and readership. We expect to see similar moves from publishers large and small in the second half of the year.