Architectural Record has been sold…again. Back in September, it was reported that McGraw-Hill Financial’s construction media portfolio—which included the publication, along with its data and analytics services—had been purchased by the Silicon Valley–based private equity firm Symphony Technology Group for $320 million. Now, Dodge Data & Analytics, the company which formed after McGraw-Hill Construction was sold, and includes Architectural Record, Engineering News-Record, Snap, and Sweets News & Products, has been picked up by BNP Media based in Troy, Michigan.
Architectural Record along with its sister construction publication, Engineering News-Record, and other products, Dodge and Sweets, have been sold to Symphony Technology Group (STG), a “strategic private equity firm” in Palo Alto, California, for $320 million. McGraw Hill Construction, the current owner of these publications, announced in a market-jargon-filled press release today that, while there were multiple prospective buyers, they sold to STG because that company understands how to build on McGraw Hill’s “storied past of nimbly adapting to changing market conditions and pursuing new growth opportunities in the construction market.” STG has a global portfolio of 22 companies with a combined revenue of $2.7 billion and 17,000 employees. Will Cathleen Mcguigan and her editorial team be leaving their Pennsylvania Station tower for the green lawns of the Silicon Valley soon?
Readers enjoying Architectural Record’s free online content got a wake-up call in late May: a paywall for articles older than 30 days. Now to access “the archive,” one must subscribe to the publication or sign up for an online subscription ($20/year). Thus, Record, one of the oldest surviving publications on architecture, joins the ranks of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, which in recent years have asked readers to pony up for full online access. Record’s move sent a jolt through the Twitterati of the architecture and design world, who speculated on what other pubs might follow. No paywall plans for us, Metropolis and Architect cheerfully tweeted back. Thanks to its high volume of online traffic, Record can afford to experiment with paid content, even if it means stymying some potential readers. On Reddit’s architecture site, a recent post that asked “What design do you like best?” and included a link to Record received the reply: “I like the one that doesn’t link to the F—ING PAYWALL.”
As architecture emerges from the depths of recession, the future remains uncertain. The latest covers of Architectural Record and Architect magazine have both emblazoned their covers with such deep questions as “What Now?” and “What’s Next?” While the magazines may be inquiring into the future of architecture, with the recent departure of Robert Ivy from Record and ensuing transition, one must wonder if the questions are more applicable to the magazines themselves.
Robert Ivy, FAIA, is preparing to step down as Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Record to become Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Institute of Architects in Washington, D.C.
Ivy presided over Record during a time of change, establishing the magazine as the official publication of the AIA between 1997 and 2010. Next year, Architect magazine will assume the same role.
“Being editor of Architectural Record fulfilled a lifelong ambition,” Ivy said in a release. “I was privileged to serve as a steward for the publication during a fascinating time, from the challenges of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina to the digital transformation of architecture and even of publishing.”
On February 1, Ivy will succeed former AIA chief Christine McEntee who stepped down in July to assume leadership of the American Geophysical Union.
Architectural Record is celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2011.
While signs of economic recovery are beginning to show for architects, design publishers continue to struggle to adjust to the changing media landscape and the soft economy. The parent companies of The Architect’s Newspaper‘s two major competitors, Architectural Record‘s McGraw-Hill and Architect‘s Hanley Wood, both announced major restructurings this week. According to Folio, McGraw-Hill is folding New York Construction, Midwest Construction, and its other regional titles into Engineering News-Record and turning ENR into a regional publication while eliminating up to 2,000 jobs across the company. At Record, this also meant letting go of some senior editorial staff, AN learned yesterday. Meanwhile, Hanley Wood’s president, Peter Goldstone, has been let go and his position has been eliminated, Folio also reported.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for McGraw-Hill wrote to dispute that the company is eliminating 2,000 jobs. While she declined to give a number, she said that the 2,000 figure is, “completely inaccurate.” She also clarified that ENR will “continue to be a national publication, but now it also has regional supplements.”
VALLEY OF THE DOLL
With either mock or earnest outrage (hard to tell), Charles Linn, deputy editor of Architectural Record, alerted Eavesdrop to an injustice that’s resonating throughout the profession. Barbie will never be an architect. It’s true, a lot of dolls aren’t architects, presumably by choice, but Barbie has, for all intents and purposes, been banned from three years of sleepless, pore-clogging charrettes and humiliating juries. Here’s what happened. Mattel, Barbie’s baby daddy, had an online contest called “I Can Be” to determine the next Career Barbie. Voters were asked to choose from a list of five nominees: environmentalist, surgeon, news anchor, computer engineer, and architect. And the winners are: news anchor and computer engineer. Read More