Monday, July 09, 2007

ALM Sold to Incisive Media

It was announced last week that Incisive Media, a London-based publishing company recently paid $630 million for American Law Media, the parent company of several U.S. law publications including, IP Law & Business, the Minority Law Journal, the Legal Times, the National Law Journal, the New York Law Journal, Texas Lawyer, and Philadelphia’s own, Legal Intelligencer.

The multi-million dollar deal is set for the end of the third quarter and will keep ALM’s management in place while doubling the size of Incisive, a quickly growing, global publishing company with publications in Hong Kong, New York and London.

What does this mean for ALM publications’ readership?

It’s hard to say what this really means for legal publications in the U.S.A. It’s one of those “only time will tell” situations. Just like the Philadelphia Inquirer’s purchase by Brian Tierney last year, this is another “wait and see” game.

The goal of the merger is of course to grow Incisive, but also to bring legal publications to Europe and Asia. However, Incisive Media CEO Tim Weller and ALM CEO William Pollack say the merger will not affect the integrity of the legal publications ALM currently offers. The idea of the merger is to expand business for both companies according to Weller and Pollack, not to alter the content and spirit of the publications.

To paraphrase Alison Frankel of American Lawyer Media, U.S. readers shouldn’t see a change in any of ALM’s 30 national and regional publications.

In Europe though, Parisians could soon be reading a new L├ęgal Journal, Romans, a new giornale legale, and Berliners, a new zugelassene Zeitung, modeled after any of ALM’S U.S. publications.

It’ll be interesting to see how plays out in all of this too. Keep your eyes and ears open for more change.

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