Reader's Digest to Acquire Rodale's Woodworking Group

Posted on September 16, 1998

The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Rodale Press, Inc.'s Woodworking Group, which includes American Woodworker magazine, a special interest books division and consumer trade show operations.

"American Woodworker is a natural companion to The Family Handyman magazine and the do-it-yourself books we publish under the Reader's Digest and Family Handyman brands. By integrating these two editorial teams, we will better leverage our assets and gain a blockbuster home improvement franchise. We also have a chance to learn a new business -- consumer trade shows, which are highly popular," Ryder said.

American Woodworker, which has a rate base of 325,000 and is published seven times a year, is geared toward the serious to advanced woodworker. It is one of the nation's three leading publications for professional and amateur woodworkers. The magazine was started in 1985 by JM Publishing and sold to Rodale in 1988.

The woodworking book division publishes approximately three new titles a year, has a very successful continuity series in the woodworking market, and a fast-growing trade book business. In addition, there is a backlist of 80 titles, including those in the best-selling Workshop Companion series, which has sold over 2.3 million units since it was launched in 1991.

The consumer trade group -- American Woodworker Shows -- offers three major shows a year with presentations focusing on woodworking tips, techniques and tools. The three-day events feature more than 375 exhibitors, including leading manufacturers of power and hand-working tools and equipment and fine wood dealers. An estimated 30,000 consumers are expected to attend the trade shows this year.