Publishers Weekly's New Owner Is a Blast from Its Past

Publishers Weekly's New Owner Is George Slowik
Publishers Weekly's New Owner Is George Slowik

After months of speculation about Publishers Weekly's future, and with its parent company, Reed Business Information (RUK), set on shutting down under-performing publications, the book industry trade magazine has found a new owner in one of its former publishers, the man who ran the company between 1984 and 1993.

George Slowik, previously the president and publisher of American Prospect and once the publisher of Out Magazine, has acquired the 138-year-old print publication, its associated website, and Show Daily, the annual publication brought out during the week of the Book Expo America trade show. Under the banner of his newly formed company, PWxyz LLC, PW will retain all its key personnel, including publisher Cevin Bryerman and co-editors Michael Coffey and Jim Milliot, and remain headquartered in New York City, according to a statement released this morning.

John Poulin, CEO of Reed Business Information, said, "Given George's history with Publishers Weekly, we believe this will be a great match." Slowik added: "I am very excited to be back at Publishers Weekly as e-books hit their tipping point, workable translations become automated and the Google book settlement is completed. [PW] will benefit from a lithe operation that can properly report on and interpret the implications of this incredible evolution of the book business." Terms of the deal, which was handled by media investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group, were not disclosed.

Only a month ago, Reed split off PW's sister trade publications Library Journal and School Library Journal, selling them to private-equity firm Riverside's Media Source, the Dublin, Ohio-based company that also owns the Junior Library Guild and The Horn Book, a Boston-based children's literature company.