A lot of moving pieces here: In conjunction with the announcement about the new venture, OpenGate Capital named Jack Kliger CEO of TV Guide Magazine — he had been “acting CEO” since 2009 — with David Fishman becoming COO. The execs know their way around the business. Kliger was a long-time honcho at Advance Publications where he helped launch Conde Net, and was publisher of Glamour and GQ. And Fishman had been CEO of Hachette Filipacci Media’s television subsidiary RTM Productions. OpenGate says that the new collaboration will create “an efficient platform for the pursuit of media assets in need of significant rejuvenation or strategic repositioning.” Partner Robert Lezec adds that TV Guide Magazine “has been profitable for the past three years while the magazine industry continues to experience significant upheaval. We will take the same prudent strategy that is applied to OpenGate’s other portfolio companies and apply it to the new media assets we will either acquire or manage.” Here’s OpenGate’s release:
LOS ANGELES, CA, and NEW YORK, NY – October 22, 2013 – OpenGate Capital, a global private buyout firm, announced today the formation of OpenGate Media Group, a new division focused on the acquisition of media companies as well as the expansion of the firm’s existing publishing and media-related activities such as TV Guide Magazine. The new division includes a partnership with Jack Kliger and David J. Fishman as Partners. Kliger and Fishman are media industry veterans and managing members of Kliger Media Associates, and were recently named as CEO and COO respectively of TV Guide Magazine LLC. Kliger and Fishman have worked closely with OpenGate Capital since 2009 after the firm acquired TV Guide Magazine.
The newly formed media group reflects OpenGate Capital’s commitment to the media industry and their successful track record in creating value within underperforming publications and new or underdeveloped digital media assets. The combination of Kliger Media Associates’ media industry expertise and OpenGate Capital’s acquisition and operations acumen, creates an efficient platform for the pursuit of media assets in need of significant rejuvenation or strategic repositioning, and others that will benefit from the division’s collective experience in creating thriving, sustainable and profitable media companies.
Andrew Nikou, OpenGate Capital’s founder, Managing Partner and CEO stated, “TV Guide Magazine was, at first, an opportunistic acquisition for OpenGate. We saw a great brand with great potential and quickly realized there was a lot of hidden value. We reshaped the publication and hit a home run,” said Nikou. “Fast forward five years, OpenGate has six printing, paper production, and media businesses in the portfolio and today TV Guide Magazine is viewed as the authoritative voice in what to watch on TV, and it is providing custom publishing solutions to television personalities and brands. From this hard work, we have built a team of experts that have navigated through the print-to-digital media upheaval and now have the systems, products and people that can create real value in other media assets,” concluded Nikou.
OpenGate Capital’s portfolio of media, publishing and print-related businesses include TV Guide Magazine, PennySaver USA, Fleurus Presse, Kotka Mills, NorPaper and Fusion Paperboard. Combined, these businesses represent nearly $1 billion in gross consolidated revenues for OpenGate Capital.
Robert Lezec, a Partner with OpenGate Capital that has operational oversight for TV Guide Magazine and other OpenGate portfolio companies, stated, “The formation of OpenGate Media Group allows us to build on the success we have had with TV Guide Magazine over the past five years. As an independent publisher, TV Guide Magazine has been profitable for the past three years while the magazine industry continues to experience significant upheaval. We will take the same prudent strategy that is applied to OpenGate’s other portfolio companies and apply it to the new media assets we will either acquire or manage.”
“OpenGate Media Group has several clear advantages,” said Jack Kliger. “First, TV Guide Magazine has an efficient infrastructure in place that will enable the media portfolio of this division to grow. Secondly, the platform can facilitate partnerships with international brands that want to develop a presence in the North American Market.” A recent example of the division’s strategy is Sandra Lee Magazine which has been producing both print and tablet editions through TV Guide Magazine since 2012. Kliger went on to say, “OpenGate Media Group will be developed through the combination of our established operations and OpenGate Capital’s global deal origination team to source and ultimately acquire the right types of businesses for our group in the publishing and media space.”
David J. Fishman stated, “An integral part of OpenGate Media Group’s strategy includes an increased presence on digital media platforms through product launches and acquisitions, especially where content is focused on entertainment.”