After nine months on the sale block, Condé Nast appears to have finally found a buyer for fashion bible W Magazine.
Surface Media, which publishes an avant-garde quarterly magazine and website covering design and architecture, is said to be close to finalizing a deal for around $7 million, according to a reliable source.
Surface is headed by chief executive Marc Lotenberg, who got his start in journalism in college in Texas. Then, he bounced around the country from Los Angeles to Nashville and then to Phoenix, where he started 944 Magazine, a cutting-edge fashion and lifestyle title that lasted from 2001 until 2011.
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Lotenberg also spent some time working in digital media on “The Colbert Report” in New York. Two years ago, he took over as CEO of Surface Media, whose publication has been around since the 1990s and has passed through a variety of ownerships.
At one point, Condé thought it had a deal for W with billionaire Hong Kong businessman Adrian Cheng Chi-kong and his C Ventures, but that sale fell through. And editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi also tried to put together a buyout offer.
A sale of W to Surface would mean Condé has finished the selloff of the three titles that the then-CEO Bob Sauerberg put on the block last August. Sauerberg stepped down in April when former Pandora executive Roger Lynch was appointed CEO and the deals wrapped up on his watch.
Condé Nast had not returned a call for comment by press time and Lotenberg could not be reached.