Alpha Media Group is vying for the spot of top dog in the magazine pack. The company produces Maxim magazine, which features men's lifestyle content -- including sections on sports, humor, and gaming (as well as photos of barely clothed women). Maxim is published in the US and about 40 other countries (though Dennis Publishing owns the UK version, which exists in a Web-only format). Alpha Media Group also publishes websites Maxim.com, Blender.com, and Stuffmagazine.com. In addition, its Maxim Ventures develops marketing programs designed to reach men across multiple platforms, including Internet, mobile, live events, retail, TV, and film. Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management owns Alpha Media Group.
Maxim has managed to maintain readers in a floundering market by continuing to publish features such as its Hot 100 of the Year lists that are popular with its target demographic of males aged 18-to-34. It also hosts events such as the Maxim Super Bowl party. And in 2011 the magazine began selling subscriptions to an iPad version of Maxim through Apple's iTunes store. All total, the company's print title reaches an average of nearly 12 million readers per month in the US, while its Maxim, Blender, and Stuffmagazine websites together reach some 7 million unique visitors per month.
Alpha Media Group has failed to maintain stable leadership, with five CEOs attempting to run the company in the past three years. Despite this turmoil, the company's creditors have held on to the company, which is banking on the strong Maxim brand to continue to attract readers. In 2010 Joe Mangione was brought on as the latest chief executive. Mangione, who came out of retirement to take on the role, has held executive posts at Better Homes & Gardens, Billboard Publications, and Turner Broadcasting. Longtime media executive Kent Brownridge (who had previously worked at Wenner Media) was the first attempt at running the company in 2008.
Alpha Media Group was formed in 2007, after the now defunct private equity firm Quadrangle Group bought three titles from Dennis Publishing Limited (music magazine Blender, the US edition of Maxim, and the gadget magazine Stuff) for some $250 million. Alpha later closed the print versions of Blender and Stuff. In 2009 Quadrangle handed the firm over to its creditors, which include Cerberus Capital Management, and Quadrangle began winding down its own business in 2010.