Printer Friendly

TRIBUNE TO ACQUIRE COMPTON'S MULTIMEDIA, CONTEMPORARY BOOKS; TRIBUNE NEWSPAPER CO. CHANGES NAME TO TRIBUNE PUBLISHING

 CHICAGO, July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Tribune Company has reached separate agreements to acquire Compton's Multimedia Publishing Group, a unit of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., and Contemporary Books, Inc., a privately held nonfiction publisher.
 Compton's is a leader in the development and distribution of interactive multimedia software for the consumer and education markets. Contemporary Books is a leading niche publisher in the consumer and educational book markets.
 Tribune will purchase Compton's from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. of Chicago, for approximately $57 million cash. Tribune will purchase Contemporary Books for approximately $40 million in cash and Tribune stock. Completion of both transactions is expected in the third quarter, 1993.
 Tribune Newspaper Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tribune Company, will be renamed Tribune Publishing Company to reflect the unit's growing scope of interests that include specialty publishing and electronic information services, according to John W. Madigan, president and chief executive officer.
 "Compton's and Contemporary Books will allow us to expand more broadly, and to share resources for distribution both in print and in interactive multimedia," Madigan said. "Our new name, Tribune Publishing, more aptly identifies our business."
 Compton's Multimedia Publishing Group
 Best known for its encyclopedia, Compton's publishes reference, education, entertainment and business information titles, principally in the interactive compact disk format known as CD-ROM. Compton's is a leader in adapting traditional print products to these compact disks, which play text, graphics, audio and video on a computer or television screen.
 Compton's publishes 31 CD-ROM and 16 floppy disk titles, with rights to 185 more from leading publishers. The company also distributes 81 CD-ROM titles under an extensive affiliate-label program, and owns proprietary technology called SmarTrieve(TM) to organize and present information in multimedia formats. The firm continues to publish the print version of Compton's Encyclopedia in 26 volumes.
 Compton's Chief Executive Stanley Frank and General Manager Norman Bastin will continue to lead the firm. Compton's is based in Carlsbad, Calif., and employs approximately 140 persons in Carlsbad and Chicago. The company's 12-month revenues through June of 1993 totaled approximately $28 million. Its revenues have grown at an annual rate of more than 50 percent over the past three years.
 "This acquisition is an excellent fit for Tribune's information and entertainment business," said Scott C. Smith, Tribune senior vice president / development. "It advances our established strategy of expanding into emerging markets that have prospects for dynamic growth. We see Compton's as a natural extension of our publishing business to include not only print but multimedia as well.
 "We're enthusiastic about the prospects for the CD-ROM market, and we believe the content and skills we develop for CD-ROM will have applications to other media over time," Smith said. "We intend to make investments to extend the content developed and marketed by Compton's."
 "The acquisition by Tribune will enable Compton's to further enhance our market position as a leading publisher and distributor of multimedia titles," Frank said. "With Tribune support, we intend to be more aggressive in each of these areas and further expand the market, providing a new gateway to education and popular culture."
 The electronic media research firm LINK Resources projects that total multimedia software sales will grow from less than $100 million in 1992 to $2 billion by 1996. Multimedia programming now is delivered through personal computers and video game players, and eventually also will be provided through interactive broadband networks to the home.
 Compton's Encyclopedia was first published in 1922 as the "picture encyclopedia." Encyclopaedia Britannica acquired the company in 1961. Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia was first published in 1990, and since has been a bestseller among CD-ROM titles. Content of the full 26 volumes of the print work, plus audio, video and graphics, is available on a single CD-ROM disk, which stores information equal to 1,500 floppy disks.
 Contemporary Books
 Contemporary Books publishes popular nonfiction titles as well as educational books and materials primarily for adult learners. Its principal owner and chief executive Harvey Plotnick, who has been with the firm since
1964, will continue as CEO. The Chicago-based company had revenues of $20 million for its fiscal year ending in June, and employs approximately 100 people in the Chicago area.
 Tribune will merge its Orlando-based book publishing business with Contemporary's operations. Contemporary published 75 titles in 1992, and has approximately 450 titles in print. Tribune has produced 60 titles since the company began publishing nonfiction practical-use and entertainment books early in 1991, and currently has more than 30 titles under development.
 "Acquiring Contemporary Books represents a logical next step for us in book publishing; it accelerates our plans for developing popular consumer titles," Smith said. "In addition, Contemporary Books will continue to expand as a leader in the supplemental education market, which we have targeted for growth."
 "I am delighted we are joining the Tribune family, where we will be able to utilize its resources to enable Contemporary to become a major presence in the industry," Plotnick said.
 In trade publishing, Contemporary specializes in self-help and other subjects with broad consumer appeal and long shelf life. It also publishes "Chase's Annual Events," a reference book listing more than 10,000 annual events.
 Contemporary is the second-largest publisher of adult basic- education books in the United States. Its soft-cover, curriculum-based materials are used in General Education Development (GED) and Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs around the country. Contemporary also publishes workplace competency instructional material, and soon will introduce a comprehensive program for adults learning English as a second language (ESL).
 The company was founded in 1946 as the Henry Regnery Co. The firm acquired the trade book division of Cowles Communications, Inc., in 1971, and in 1978 changed its name to Contemporary Books when Plotnick became controlling stockholder. That same year, Contemporary published its first GED program, marketed to adult education courses in schools.
 Tribune is a leading information and entertainment company. It publishes six daily newspapers, operates seven TV and six radio stations, produces and syndicates information and programming, and has an interest in newsprint manufacturing.
 -0- 7/6/93
 /CONTACT: Robert D. Carr, 312-222-3763, or home, 708-279-8021; or investors, Joseph Andrew Hays, 312-222-3237, or home, 312-642-0040, or fax, 312-222-1573/
 (TRB)


CO: Tribune Company; Compton's Multimedia Publishing Group;
 Contemporary Books, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: PUB SU: TNM


LR -- NY036 -- 8635 07/06/93 13:03 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 6, 1993
Words:1045
Previous Article:AMERICAN AIRLINES ANNOUNCES JUNE TRAFFIC
Next Article:MONMOUTH COUNTY (NJ) $35.9 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AA+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
Topics:


Related Articles
ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA, INC. SELLS COMPTON'S MULTIMEDIA PUBLISHING GROUP TO TRIBUNE COMPANY
TRIBUNE TO ACQUIRE WRIGHT GROUP, EDUCATION PUBLISHER
TRIBUNE TO ACQUIRE WRIGHT GROUP, EDUCATION PUBLISHER
TRIBUNE MEDIA REVENUES UP 2.3% IN DECEMBER, RISE 6.2% IN FOURTH QUARTER; UP 6.3% IN 1993
TRIBUNE REVENUES RISE 13.7% IN MARCH, UP 11.1% YEAR TO DATE; TELEVISION INCREASES 11.1%; NEWSPAPER AD REVENUES UP 8.2%
TRIBUNE FIRST QUARTER NET INCOME UP 35 PERCENT
TRIBUNE REVENUES RISE 13.7% IN MARCH, UP 11.1% YEAR TO DATE; TELEVISION INCREASES 11.1%; NEWSPAPER AD REVENUES UP 8.2%
TRIBUNE ACQUIRES EVERYDAY LEARNING, PUBLISHER OF MATH MATERIALS FOR GRADES K-6
TRIBUNE CEO JOHN MADIGAN ELECTED BOARD CHAIRMAN
MCGRAW-HILL COS. TO ACQUIRE TRIBUNE EDUCATION.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters