Apprise Media Acquires Beckett Publications, Leading Publisher in Sports and
Establishes platform in enthusiast publishing
Apprise Media LLC, a niche media company backed by Spectrum Equity Investors, today
announced that it acquired Beckett Publications, the leading publisher of sports and
entertainment market collectible guides. The company, to be called Beckett Media LP,
will provide Apprise with a platform for continued growth in the sports and entertainment
markets as well as other enthusiast categories. Terms of the transaction were not
Beckett Publications, based in Dallas, Texas, publishes nine monthly magazines plus
periodic collectibles and trading card pricing guides. Titles include Beckett Baseball,
Beckett Football, Beckett Basketball, Beckett Hockey, Beckett Racing, Beckett Anime
Collector, and Neopets: the Official Magazine. The company also operates Beckett Grading
Services, a leading third-party professional sports card grading service and Beckett.com
(www.beckett.com), the leading online destination for sports collectible enthusiasts.
Charles G. McCurdy, Chairman and CEO of Apprise Media, said, "For more than 20 years,
Beckett has dominated the market for print and interactive collectible card guides, both in
sports-oriented sectors including baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and stock car
racing, as well as the anime area of entertainment such as Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh. We plan to
continue to improve the company’s electronic information delivery platform and expand its
focus on fee-based specialty services like grading/certification, while seeking new product
and service segments.
"We have many years of experience in enthusiast publishing. We see great opportunity to
broaden Beckett’s products and audience reach online as the sports and entertainment
collectibles market continues to grow online through direct sales sites such as Beckett.com
and auction sites such as eBay, already a strategic partner of Beckett. At the same time,"
he added, "Beckett’s proprietary, statistics-grounded methodology for valuing collectibles
has potential applications in a wide range of popular collectibles, and we will work to exploit
Dr. James Beckett, founder of the company will remain with Beckett as an advisor. "This
company has had remarkable growth over the last 20 years, both in print and electronic media,"
he said. "I am delighted to hand it over to Apprise Media, which has an excellent track record
in growing niche media businesses, both print and interactive. I am very confident that Apprise,
working with the Beckett Publications team, will take the company to the next level."
ABOUT APPRISE MEDIA LLC
Formed in 2004, Apprise Media (www.apprisemedia.com) is a strategic management and investment
company. Controlled by Charles G. McCurdy, a co-founder and former President of Primedia
Inc. (NYSE: PRM), Apprise Media acquires and builds businesses in the targeted media and
publishing sectors. Apprise and Spectrum Equity Investors (www.spectrumequity.com) have
joined forces in an investment initiative that has committed $175-$200 million of Spectrum’s
capital for strategic investments in niche media and publishing businesses. Spectrum Equity
Investors is a private equity investor specializing in investments in companies in the media,
information services, communications, information technology and business services industries.
Founded in 1994, Spectrum manages private equity funds representing $3 billion in committed
ABOUT BECKETT PUBLICATIONS
Based in Dallas, Beckett Publications is the leading publisher of sports and specialty market
collectible products in the U.S. Beckett operates Beckett.com (www.beckett.com), the leading
online destination for sports collectible enthusiasts, and is the premier publisher of monthly
sports collectibles magazines. Beckett, considered the world’s most trusted source in collecting,
currently publishes nine monthly magazines. Its flagship title is the popular Beckett Baseball
Monthly. The company also operates Beckett Grading Services, a leading third-party professional
sports card grading service. The company was founded in 1984 by Dr. James Beckett. In the mid-1970s,
while a statistics professor at Bowling Green State University, he published his first baseball
card price guides as "free-upon-request" pamphlets to, in his words, "bring order
out of the chaos that existed" in the baseball card industry. Those pamphlets led to annually
published price guides and were the forerunners of Beckett’s monthly collectibles magazines.
Source: Apprise Media LLC
Date: January 26, 2005
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