Discovery Buys Golf Digest

Golf Digest chairman and editor-in-chief Jerry Tarde to Join Discovery Golf
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Discovery continued to beef up its golfing portfolio, agreeing to purchase Golf Digest from publisher Condé Nast.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but some reports estimated the price tag was about $30 million. 

The addition of Golf Digest will complement Discovery’s growing portfolio around the sport. In January it launched GolfTV with more than 2,000 hours of live action and premium content.

Discovery’s reach into 220 markets and territories worldwide should help boost Golf Digest’s global brand. The publication, which gets nearly half of its revenue from digital advertising, will continue to publish a U.S. monthly print magazine and Discovery will assume the global licenses for editions serving nearly 70 countries.

According to Discovery, Golf Digest has about 4.8 million readers and 2.2 million social media followers.

According to Golf Digest, the sale was part of a nine-month process that began after privately held Condé Nast, which has owned the publication since 2001, announced it would focus more on its core style and culture publications like Vogue and Vanity Fair. The company said it received interest from a number of suitors, “but it was Discovery’s ambitious plans to create a ‘digital home of golf’ that seemed an ideal match from the start.”

Golf Digest’s editorial team will join Discovery Golf under the continued leadership of Jerry Tarde, as Editor-in-Chief, Golf Digest, and Global Head of Strategy and Content, Discovery Golf. Tarde’s responsibilities also will include GolfTV and he will report to Discovery Golf president and general manager Alex Kaplan.

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“Golf Digest is a world-class brand that has become the ‘go-to’ authority for millions of golf enthusiasts, professional players and global advertisers,” Discovery CEO David Zaslav said in a press release. “It’s a natural strategic fit with Discovery’s goal to be the leading golf media platform in the world.”

RELATED: Discovery Inc. Acquires Golf Digest 

GolfTV already includes exclusive carriage in select territories outside of the U.S. of the PGA Tour, the European Tour, the Ladies European Tour, and the Masters Tournament. Discovery also had exclusive global content partnerships with Tiger Woods, winner of 81 PGA Tour events and 15 major championships, and Francesco Molinari, winner of three PGA Tour events and the reigning Open champion.

“This is a big deal for Discovery to add Golf Digest to our golf portfolio,” Kaplan said in a press release. “... We can utilize the strengths of both Golf Digest and our burgeoning GolfTV platform, establishing a global editorial powerhouse delivering content across all platforms to engage and inspire millions of passionate golf fans around the world.”

GolfTV is collaborating with Woods on a range of content, including deep-dive instruction to help players improve their game, which began filming last month, and exclusive access to his tournament preparation. 

“This is an important step in enhancing and expanding the U.S. and global reach of Discovery and GolfTV,” Woods said in a press release. “It gives me another platform to tell my story directly to fans and makes my partnership with Discovery even stronger. This acquisition, along with what Discovery and GolfTV have already done with the PGA Tour, is great for the game of golf.”

The addition of the publication gives Discovery a leading golf platform in the U.S., including instructional videos, equipment advice, course rankings, travel destinations, online bookings and more.

Discovery and the PGA Tour are expanding their 12-year strategic partnership with a new content and sales relationship in the U.S., including a full suite of editorial coverage, live and on-demand video streaming, digital, social, print and branded content opportunities. The current Golf Digest sales teams will continue to be responsible for ad sales during a transition period until the Discovery / PGA Tour sales integration is complete.

Greenhill & Co. served as financial advisor to Condé Nast and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP served as legal advisor to Condé Nast. Proskauer Rose LLP served as legal advisor to Discovery, Inc. 

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