WSJ: Maxim Mag Publisher Might Go To Creditors

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The publisher of men’s magazine Maxim is in restructuring talks that could result in the company being turned over to creditors, The Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Friday.

The Journal, which cited sources familiar with the matter, said talks could still fall apart.

Maxim’s parent company is Alpha Media, which deal maker Steve Rattner bought in 2007 from British publisher Felix Dennis for $250 million. About $90 million of that was in equity, and the rest was debt, the Journal reported.

Since then, the Journal reported, results at Alpha — which includes music magazine Blender — have tanked.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell to about $8 million in 2008, 70 percent lower than about $28 million when Quadrangle bought Alpha in 2007, according to the Journal.

An Alpha spokeswoman did not return a telephone call seeking comment. Quadrangle was not immediately available for comment.

U.S. magazines across a variety of genres have been suffering from a slump in advertising revenue that already had begun before the financial crisis set in.

Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) is cutting staff at its magazines, and Conde Nast is slashing jobs at business magazine Portfolio. Hearst Corp also has lowered headcount.

Maxim, which publishes photos of semi-naked, sometimes semi-famous women, stays away from outright nudity. It is aimed at the 18-34 year old males, an audience advertisers covet.

(Reporting by Robert MacMillan)