April 12, 2002
Hemmings Motor News to be acquired by American City
Bennington, Vermont – Hemmings Motor News, known as the “bible” of the old car hobby, will be acquired by American City Business Journals Inc., Charlotte, NC, from the family of Hemmings’ late publisher and editor, Terry Ehrich. Mr. Ehrich died in January after serving as publisher and editor of the monthly publication for 33 years.
Also included in the sale, which is expected to close by May 1, are affiliated publishing assets of Hemmings including two smaller magazines and a unit that publishes books, calendars, and other publishing products featuring old cars. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Hemmings, which has a circulation of 223,000, is the leading monthly publication for hobbyists and collectors of antique, vintage and special interest cars. Hemmings’ brown kraft paper cover and tissue-thin advertising pages are distinctive features of the publication. The publication provides its readers with 650 to 750 pages of advertising each month for collector cars and parts, restoration services and tools, literature and car shows and rallies.
“Hemmings is the crown jewel among publications serving the collector car market,” said Ray Shaw, Chairman and CEO of American City. “We’re gratified that we were chosen to carry on Terry Ehrich’s unique legacy of service to the collector car hobby. Terry Ehrich made Hemmings one of the most trusted names in this business.”
Mr. Shaw said Hemmings and its allied businesses, which together employ 115 people, will continue to be based in Bennington.
“We’ve had a wonderful run with our publications, but we are pleased to be handing over the keys to Advance Publications and ACBJ, who have proven to be superb owners of business and automotive publications,” said Perez Ehrich, Vice President of Hemmings and brother of Terry Ehrich. “We look forward to seeing the Hemmings brand continue to flourish in high gear, not only in print, but especially through online and other platforms.”
The collector car market is growing, Mr. Shaw said, fueled by the growth in the 50-plus age category and the rising affluence of this demographic group.
“Collecting old cars is not a shade-tree mechanic hobby,” Mr. Shaw said. He noted that Hemmings subscribers have an average household income of $109,900, 83% are college educated and on average own 4.2 collector cars valued at $100,000. They also own 2.1 passenger cars on average.
Hemmings has a strong online presence. Its hemmings.com carries all advertisements published in the magazine as well as other content; Forbes magazine named hemmings.com the best car collector web site in both 2000 and 2001. The magazine also builds and hosts more than 1,100 collector car club Web sites.
American City is the largest publisher of metropolitan business journals, owning 41 such publications. It also is a leading sports publisher. Under its Street & Smith’s unit, it publishes the two leading NASCAR magazines and five sports annuals. It operates nearly 50 web sites which together have more than 2 million subscribers or registered users.
Advance Publications owns Conde Nast publications, which publishes such magazines as The New Yorker, GQ, Vanity Fair and Vogue. It also publishes Parade magazine and 26 daily newspapers and is partner with AOL-Time Warner in owning cable television systems.