F+W Media is a publisher of many popular magazines, books, digital products, videos and other content. Within the genealogy community, the company is best known as the producer of Family Tree Magazine, Family Tree University and the Family Tree website. Sadly, F+W Media filed for bankruptcy protection a few days ago.
Facing near-term liquidity issues with only about $2.5 million in cash available and $105.2 million in outstanding debt, F+W Media filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code, citing in various documents a perfect storm of secular industry decline, poor investments, and even mismanagement.
NOTE: Family Tree Magazine published by F+W Media in the U.S. should not be confused with a magazine of the same name published in England by Warners Group Publications Plc. (See https://www.family-tree.co.uk/ for the “other” Family Tree Magazine.) The two magazines may share a name but nothing else. They are owned and published by totally different companies.
The genealogy division of F+W Media has offices in Cincinnati, Ohio although the corporate headquarters are in New York. The company is one of the country’s largest publishers of specialty and enthusiast media, with such brands as Deer and Deer Hunting, Sky & Telescope, Old Cars Weekly, Popular Woodworking, Coins, Numismatic News, and along with various crafting titles, and other publications in artist’s network, collectibles, writing, outdoors, sky & telescope, woodworking, family tree, construction, and horticulture.
In the bankruptcy filing, the company notes the market for subscription print periodicals of all kinds, including those published by F+W, has been in decline over the last decade. Indeed, since 2015 alone, F+W’s subscriber base decreased from 33.4 million to 21.5 million, and its ad revenue decreased from $20.7 million to $13.7 million. As a result of this trend, the company shifted into digital platforms and e-commerce.
F+W Media said it plans to sell its businesses while continuing to operate, in order to “maximize the value of their estates for the benefit of all their stakeholders.”
You can read more in an article by Tony Silber in Forbes at: http://bit.ly/2TEoL9v.