• Feb 1, 2011
In one fell swoop, Hearst has moved to become the second-largest magazine titan in the United States by acquiring over 100 titles from French publisher Legardère. While the heap of magazines spans 15 countries and a host of topics, Car and Driver and Road & Track both stand out from the crowd as two of the most notable slicks in the heap, at least to us. According to The New York Times, Hearst laid its hands on the new assets by plopping down around $890 million, and both publishers are set to benefit from the deal in different ways
Legardère has been under pressure from stock holders for some time to slim its international efforts and redouble its focus on domestic exploits. Meanwhile, Hearst has been vying for a better way to lock horns with Condé Nast on the fashion and beauty advertising front, and the acquisition of American Elle alongside the rest of the new titles should provide the appropriate venue for that action.

With a newly diversified portfolio of titles under its belt, Hearst believes that it stands to significantly increase its advertising dollars. The New York Times reports that last year, Time Inc. led the advertising fray with more than $4 billion, followed by Condé Nast with $2.5 billion and Hearst with $2.4 billion. Had the new titles been included in last year's figures, Hearst would have walked away with $3.5 billion in ads.

[Source: The New York Times]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unfortunately most of the buff magazines like C&D and R&T are essentially just flyers for their automotive advertisers. They remind me of the brochures that I can get for free at any car store with their ever so sweet praise of things that are useless features at best. I stopped buying these magazines when they started featuring a lot of station wagons - sorry -SUV's, and minivans. These are not vehicles that I consider of any interest in what used to be enthusiast's magazines. I do not need a review when I am buying a tow vehicle and a minivan is something you rent so you can nap at the track between stints. There are some really good enthusiast magazines unfortunately they all come from England - Motorsport, Autocar, AutoSport etc. Apparently it is not possible to have anyone write legible copy here. There is more copy and depth in Hemmings than in either Automobile, CandD or R&T and it is a classified newspaper...

      It would also seem that both of these mags have exactly the same articles spaced about 30 days apart.. They are just not making an effort.

      I took R&T because it was only $6- a year (AutoSport is $235- a year) and I do not get my money's worth. The writing has been dumbed down to the level a Chimpanzee can follow and quite frankly it is not that interesting. I pay for AutoSport, MotorSport ($65) and AutoCar ($250) because they have articles that are interesting to read. It is not about price it is about quality. I do not eat haute cuisine at Costco either....
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Chimpanzee can follow and quite frankly it is not that interesting"

        Bonzo fell asleep... he didn't even rip it up as he usually does....
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like the British mags like Top Gear,Evo,Car etc are much superior in many ways.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I only buy now if I'm going on a trip or to the doctor's office. Else I get it online.
        • 3 Years Ago
        MT and Automobile are $10 a year,...........in other words two cups of Starbucks coffee.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Don't they also get advertising dollars from the ad sponsors on the site? Google got real profitable with the inclusion of that ad bar to the right. And honestly I don't read all of the magazine. What the should do with the magazine on the stands is go to quarterly. And if you read between the lines, Hearst is probably thinking electronic revenue and name recognition (badging) as opposed to print profits.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Legardère has been under pressure from stock holders for some time to slim its international efforts and redouble its focus on domestic exploits."

      This is no big surprise to me; French concerns have been scaling back like this for years. The intent is to preserve France's heritage-in other words, become more isolationist. If it doesn't concern France or countries where it still has some level of political, journalistic, economic or social influence (such as the central African nations, St. Pierre & Miquelon-sorry, Quebec doesn't count), you're no longer needed.

      That said, one must wonder how much longer before Renault bails out of Nissan (remember AMC, Mack Trucks) or PSA walks away from Mitsubishi?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe this will mean that C&D and R&T will be available for e-readers (Amazon Kindle, hint hint!). I read AB and other sites daily, but still like print - although I do not like the "bulk" that the magazines take up. The same content but electronic (and not on-site, but as a reader format) would get my subscription $$. Have to agree with some of the other comments - especially about reviews of SUVs and Minivans and a general deterioration of prose quality.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I've gotten R&T and C/D through Zinio for a couple of years now (I got the print editions for 30+ years), and I haven't read them nearly as much since I switched to digital. Part of it is that the Zinio interface isn't as slick as e-book readers like the Kindle, and part of it is that I picked up reading AB, Inside Line, The Autoextremist, Hooniverse and others. The fact that the print mags lag behind the blogs doesn't help, either.
        • 3 Years Ago
        C&D and R&T (to name a few) offer digital subscriptions for your desktop/laptop/etc through the Zinio reader program. http://www.zinio.com

      • 3 Years Ago
      Heck, I thought that Hachette Fillipachi Magazines still owned R&T and C/D.
      • 3 Years Ago
      CD hasn't been the same since the 90's. While I still like reading old school rags, the interwebs spoils the experience by making the news in them a month old.


        • 3 Years Ago
        I read Autoblog and troll here DAILY. But i also read magazines and i have to say they have info on cars that blogs simply do not have. Motor Trend was giving measurements and numbers of Chevy Cruze way before blogs did. They have inside sources.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Your option is basically to know about it NOW on the blog, with poor writing/grammar, and little to no vetting of the information. Or you can wait for the monthly magazine, which will be well-written, witty, and in-depth.

        Personally, I wouldn't mind something in the middle-ground, where there was a weekly online publication that took the time to do proper editing. The print distribution is too slow, but the blogs are too worried about being first to post to get it right.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Speedy,

        I couldn't agree with you more. I used to anxiously await my C&D issue every month. Now I read what appeals to me and it's usually trashed the same day. And when m,y subscription runs out, it'll be the first time in 40 years (back when it was "Sports Car Illustrated") that I won't renew.

        Not only are the columns/columnists no longer as interesting but the articles now go mostly from the ridiculous (comparison on top of comparison of exotic cars that about fewer than 1% of the US population can afford to buy) to the more ridiculous (let's test a tank) or have an article on $400+ sunglasses that look cool. No longer is there the thought process which trounced the other magazines. Now it's "can we compete?".

        Whom are they aiming the magazine at? The younger generation reads things on the Internet; we older people are their subscribers but they seem to have gotten it reversed. And that's a real shame.
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