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Hearst Sells American Marie Claire to Future

After 27 years as a joint venture at Hearst and Marie Claire Album, the US edition of the magazine gets a single owner.
Hearst has been a joint owner of Marie Claire US for 27 years. Courtesy Shutterstock
Hearst has been a joint owner of Marie Claire US for 27 years. Courtesy Shutterstock

The media company today announced the sale of the US edition of Marie Claire to Future, the publisher of Marie Claire UK, a spokesperson for Hearst confirmed to BoF.

Debi Chirichella, president at Hearst Magazines, announced the news to Hearst staff Tuesday in an internal memo. In the letter, she said the decision was made because “the partners believe the brand would be better served by a single owner, rather than our current 50/50 joint venture structure.” According to the memo, US-based Marie Claire staffers were notified of the sale this morning.

“We will do everything we can to ensure the transition to new ownership is a positive one,” wrote Chirichella. “I want to thank [editor-in-chief] Sally Holmes and the talented team for their dedication and many contributions to the success of this beloved brand over the years.”

For 27 years, Marie Claire US was a joint venture between Hearst and its French partner Marie Claire Album. It now joins Future’s stable of brands, which, beyond Marie Claire UK, includes Woman&Home and GoodToKnow.

Caroline Stent, Future’s managing director of Marie Claire, confirmed that Holmes, who was appointed to the top editor job in September 2020, will stay on as EIC.

“Sally is absolutely key to driving the business forward and together we will build on her success as EIC,” she said. “We’re thrilled to be working with talent of Sally’s calibre.”

“Our continued growth and success is proof of our strategy in action,” said Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, in a statement. “We’ve had fantastic results expanding the Marie Claire UK brand and we believe that with our expertise in terms of audience, e-commerce and platform, we can develop the offering to grow the Marie Claire US audience significantly.”

The sale comes on the heels of Hearst’s announcement of the creation of a new marketing and sales structure, which saw the company offer voluntary buyouts to sales and marketing staff, the New York Post reported. That new structure sees Hearst’s Luxury brand portfolio defined as Elle, Town & Country, Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire.

In the second half of 2020, Marie Claire’s average circulation was 900,840, which fell lower than fellow Hearst-owned brand Elle but higher than Harper’s Bazaar. Web traffic in April was 17.3 million.

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