SBJ/Aug. 18-24, 2014/Media

Tennis’ publisher buys firm’s controlling stake

Jeff Williams, publisher of Tennis magazine, has acquired the controlling stake in Tennis Media Co., which owns the magazine and the related tennis.com.

Williams acquired the stake from incumbents Bob Miller and George Mackin, who will remain as investors. Williams declined to disclose financial terms, but he did say he is buying what he termed a “sizable chunk” of the company, though not a majority of it initially.

Tennis has 600,000 subscriptions, three-quarters of which are sold to the U.S. Tennis Association, which offers them free as part of membership to the association. Williams is a USTA board member.

Williams’ initial plans include closing a seven-person Los Angeles office, consolidating work in New York City. He also wants to reduce the focus on training coverage and add more on celebrity.  

“We have always been about tennis players, always about the high-brow tennis fan — and never talking about, for example, Serena’s vacation at the beach — and all about improving your game,” he said. “For us to be relevant, we have to be about surrounding that tennis enthusiast with all things tennis all the time.”

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