The iconic Radio Times magazine has been sold as part of a wider deal where the BBC has divested itself of many of its publishing titles. BBC Worldwide and Exponent Private Equity have announced they have signed a sale and licensing agreement for the publication of titles currently published by BBC Magazines, BBC Worldwide’s consumer magazines business. Under the terms of the deal Exponent will acquire, in full, Radio Times and a number of magazines less closely aligned to the BBC, as well as the rights to publish BBC-branded titles, such as Top Gear, under licensing and contract arrangements.
The transaction received full approval from the BBC Trust on 21 July and the announcement concludes a rigorous sale process. Completion is expected to take place in the autumn, following clearance from the UK Office of Fair Trading.
Commenting on the deal with Exponent, BBC Worldwide CEO John Smith said: “BBC Magazines is a world-class magazines business, with an incredible depth of talent across editorial, publishing, marketing and commercial. It continually provides readers with the highest quality content, has launched successful new titles in the UK and overseas, and has strongly outperformed the UK market in recent years. The deal announced today offers the best prospects for the magazines business to continue on this path of success, while BBC Worldwide pursues a strategy increasingly focused on international video and digital services.”