WQED Multimedia yesterday closed a deal to sell Pittsburgh Magazine to Wiesner Media. The company is based in Colorado. Publisher Betsy Benson will continue to run the magazine and most of the 21-member staff will remain. Accounting and Internet technology will be handled by Wiesner from their headquarters in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
WQED Multimedia President and CEO George Miles told the Post-Gazette, “It will be a monthly magazine. It will continue to go to our members and contain the ‘On Air’ guide. An important part of this transaction was to ensure that our members will continue to receive the magazine.” Miles added that WQED Multimedia is on target to break even this year whether or not the sale had gone through. He also stated that WQED never had the resources to give the magazine an investment to make it grow and that the decision was strategic, not budgetary. “We need to make sure all our limited resources go towards the electronic media,” Miles said adding that the profit of the sale doesn’t solve any budget concerns with state government.
Dan Wiesner, the CEO of Wiesner Media, has been visiting Pittsburgh on and off over the last year. He confirms that Ms. Benson will retain her position and that the content of the magazine will not change. However, the magazine’s internet presence is expected to improve. Wiesner Media is a small, family-owned company of 25 employees hoping to build a group of regional city magazines. Pittsburgh is the first to be bought.
Pittsburgh Magazine has been around since 1969 and served as a WQED program guide called “QED Renaissance”. It is among the last to be published by a public broadcast station – surviving 19 years after stations in other markets sold their magazines. The offices will remain at the WQED Studios into 2010 when they are expected to relocate.