F+W Media has acquired Aspire Media, the parent company of Interweave, in a move the unites two of the country’s largest publishers of niche content for particular communities. Best known for its crafts books and magazines, Interweave has a backlist of 350 craft books, publishes 15 consumer art and craft magazines and more than 30 special newsstand publications. In addition, the company operates 33 Web sites and 10 online communities, sells through 10 of its own e-commerce stores and conducts consumer events and video workshops. It also produces 3 PBS craft television programs. There is virtually no overlap in Interweave’s communities and those of F+W.
“The Interweave strategy mirrors the strategy set in place for each of our vertical communities. To provide an expertly curated portfolio of quality content, products and services, marketed and sold direct to our comprehensive database of core enthusiasts, through our robust e-commerce stores,” said F+W chairman David Nussbaum. Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed. Walter Florence, managing director of Frontenac Company, one of the private equity firms that backed Aspire, will join the F+W board. Clay Hall, Aspire and Interweave CEO since 2005 will leave the company as will CFO Troy Wells.
Nussbaum said Interweave will keep the Interweave name and bands intact. Its immediate plans for Interweave include increasing the number of digital magazine / content launches through the Interweave digital newsstand; expanding the e-commerce, e-book, and digital pattern business; and expanding the live and online education and event business.
F+W president Sara Domville will oversee the Interweave content team, while other departments such as e-commerce, e-media, and events will report to F+W’s current executive committee members. Nussbaum said F+W will “explore our options” about what to do with the Interweave offices which include a Loveland, Colo. headquarters and facilities in Malvern, Pa., Sudbury, Mass., and New York City. No decisions about book distribution have been reached either; Perseus has been Interweave’s distributor.