McGraw-Hill( MHP) has reportedly put its BusinessWeek magazine on the auction block, though whether anyone will show up, let alone raise a paddle, is an open question.
The weekly slick, which competes mostly with privately held
, saw its ad revenue fall 30% in the most recent quarter. Meanwhile, its move into the digital arena has been inconsistent at best, with two major overhauls of its web offerings in the last two years.
McGraw-Hill's media business as a whole, which includes
as well as J.D. Power & Associates, has been a drag on the company's bottom line. In the most recent quarter, operating profit at the unit tumbled 76%. The parent company's earnings, meanwhile, declined by 22%.
McGraw-Hill will use long-time advisor
to shop the title, according to a
item, which cited a single source "close to the situation." Evercore, a boutique investment bank run by M&A maven Roger Altman, also advised McGraw-Hill on its 2005 purchase of market-research firm J.D. Power & Associates.
Speculation about McGraw-Hill's plans to sell have been rampant in recent weeks. The list of purported buyers has been both short and obvious:
itself, and Rupert Murdoch's
Much like the
Washington Post Co.
(whose flagship newspaper brings in a minority of the company's business), McGraw-Hill has moved largely away from journalism and into such fields as textbook publishing and financial-products ratings (it also owns Standard & Poor's).
McGraw-Hill shares were trading midday Monday at $29.93, down 15 cents, on volume of about 600,000 shares. Average daily turnover is 2.7 million.
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