Longtime local publisher Ted Fleischaker recently put his two print publications—The Word and Up Downtown—on the market.
He’s asking $200,000 in a package deal for the two publications, which have a combined print circulation of 18,500. The Word, which launched in 1991, focuses on the gay community in Indiana and six other states and has an unpaid circulation of 9,000. Up Downtown covers happenings in downtown Indianapolis and Fountain Square and has an unpaid circulation of 9,500.
Both publications, Fleischaker said, have been profitable from the start, and posted combined revenue in 2013 of $134,000. The operations have no debt, he said.
The buyer, Fleischaker said, will get control of advertising contracts, the printing agreement, contracts for distribution points and distribution boxes, and "goodwill built up over the years."
“I think this is a reasonable asking price. Newspapers normally sell for two and a half to three times of annual [revenue],” Fleischaker said.
Both tabloid-sized publications are published monthly, with The Word averaging 64 pages per issue and Up Downtown 32. Both are full color. Fleischaker is the only full-time staffer, with content and photographs being supplied by a slew of freelancers.
Regular advertisers in the publications include English Ivy, Edward Jones Investments, Andy Mohr Chevrolet, real estate agent Joe Everhart, Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino. Fleischaker said he often sells advertisers combination deals to appear in both publications. Advertising takes up more than 50 percent of the space in both tabloids.
“We’ve built up a strong following over the years,” Fleischaker said. “And we have advertisers who want to reach our readers.”
Fleischaker, 64, said he’s ready to retire and devote more time to volunteer work. He also thinks his publications could be better served at this point by a younger publisher.
“I’m a motivated seller,” he added. “It’s time for the community to have a different voice.”
Fleischaker said he’s had some interest in the publications, but no serious offers. He hopes to have the sale complete no later than the end of the first quarter of next year. If he can't find a buyer, he said he'll have to contemplate closing the publications.