It’s renovation time for This Old House‘s business plan.
Time Inc. has agreed to sell This Old House Ventures — which includes the PBS show, a magazine and website — to its founding executive, Eric Thorkilsen, and private equity fund TZP Growth Partners. They did not disclose the terms.
Thorkilsen’s well known in publishing circles. At Time Inc. he helped to launch People and Martha Stewart Living. In the mid-1990s he persuaded the company to build the This Old House TV series that WGBH introduced in 1979 into a franchise. Time Inc. introduced the magazine in 1995 and in 2001 bought the show, which continues to air on PBS.
The enterprise now includes two TV shows (This Old House and Ask This Old House); This Old House Magazine, which has a nearly 1 million subscribers; and website thisoldhouse.com.
“I have been a champion of This Old House for the better part of three decades,” Thorkilsen said, “and it is an honor to be able to rejoin this extraordinary franchise and bring it to a new generation of fans.”
TZP Growth Partner’s Bill Hunscher calls the investment “an incredibly compelling value proposition in the home category.” They hope to “carefully accelerate the growth, unlock its enormous potential and ensure that This Old House thrives for years to come.”
Along with the change, former Real Simple Managing Editor Susan Wyland will become editor-in-chief of the magazine. She’ll replace 12-year editor Scott Omelianuk, who the company says “has decided not to make the transition and is leaving the brand to pursue a new opportunity in the television space.”