The drumbeat urging this company forward is the drone of printing presses. Advance Publications is a leading newspaper and magazine publisher with several dozen titles. Its portfolio of about 25 newspapers includes The Star-Ledger (New Jersey), The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and namesake Staten Island Advance, as well as more than 40 weekly titles published by American City Business Journals. Through Advance Magazine Publishers (DBA Condé Nast), the company owns magazines including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Wired. Other operations and interests include online content and cable television. Patriarch Sam Newhouse started the family-owned business with the purchase of the Staten Island Advance in 1922.
Its newspapers serve small urban markets in more than 25 cities in 10 states, while its magazine empire has focused on special interest topics such as fashion, food, interior decorating, and technology.
Advance Publications' focus on editorial content means most of its revenue comes from advertising and subscriptions. However, the publishing business has been in decline for several years as readers turn to the Internet and other sources for their news and information. The downturn in the economy has only added to those problems. In response, the company has looked for ways to reduce operating costs at its papers and magazines, including staff cuts and mandatory furloughs.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Through acquisitions, creative development, and aggressive promotion, Advance Publications has built a formidable estate of media properties. In 2014 the company agreed to sell Fairchild Fashion Media to Penske Media.
Along the way, the Newhouse family, under the leadership of media mogul brothers Si and Donald, has made a place for itself among such publishing elite as the Grahams (Graham Holdings), the Hearsts (The Hearst Corporation), and the Sulzbergers (New York Times).