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The company is named after the Staten Island Advance, the first newspaper owned by the Newhouse family, in which Sam Newhouse bought a controlling interest in 1922.
In 1924 Newhouse, along with St John Mclean and William Wolfe, bought out Judge Lazarus's interest in the Advance and incorporated the Staten Island Advance Company, renamed Staten Island Advance Corporation shortly thereafter.
Many newspaper stands were at first reluctant to carry the Advance, but Newhouse increased circulation by adopting a Brooklyn newspaper's home-delivery system, and by 1928 he had made enough to buy out his two partners in the company for $198,000.
Despite the challenge to the Advance by the Staten Islander and a politically motivated libel suit, Newhouse was able not only to prosper during good times but to survive the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.
Newhouse had invested his company's profits in the newspaper, not in stocks; thus, in 1932 the bank account of the Advance stood at close to $400,000.
The first of these acquisitions, in 1935, was a 51 percent share in the Newark Ledger of Newark, New Jersey.
Newhouse repeated this merger strategy when he bought the Newark Star-Eagle and merged it with the Newark Ledger to form the Newark Star-Ledger in 1939.
In 1942 Newhouse bought for $1.3 million the only remaining Syracuse newspaper, the morning Post-Standard, establishing a highly profitable monopoly during World War II, even with shortages of newsprint and other supplies.
In 1947 Newhouse acquired the Patriot Company, publisher of the Patriot and the Evening News in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
…1949 he renamed his company Advance Publications Inc.
With the purchase of the Portland Oregonian in 1950, he paid a record $5.6 million.
“Newhouse Buys Oregon Journal; Estimated Price is $8 Million for Daily in Portland,” New York Times, August 5, 1951.
The 1959 purchase of Condé Nast Publications for $5 million was supposedly suggested by Mitzi Newhouse, S.I. Newhouse's wife.
In 1961 Newhouse established a newspaper monopoly in Portland with his purchases of the Oregon Journal for $8 million.
The publisher of Advance's Birmingham, Alabama, paper in 1962 was an unabashed racist, while Newhouse himself was staunchly liberal.
In 1962 Advance paid $42 million for the Times-Picayune Publishing Company in New Orleans, Louisiana.
U. S. Congress, House of Representa- tives, “Federal Responsibility for a Free and Competitive Press,” Hearings before the Antitrust Subcommittee of the House Committee on the Judiciary (investiga- tion of monopoly practices in the newspaper industry), 1963.
When the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications was opened in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson gave the dedication speech.
Newhouse's largest deal of the decade turned out to be his acquisition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer for $54.2 million in 1967, breaking his own record for the highest price ever paid for a newspaper and again requiring a bank loan.
Advance bought 49 percent of a massive paper mill in Catawba, South Carolina, in 1970.
In 1971 Advance bought both the Bayonne Times, the paper at which Newhouse had started his career, and the Newark Evening News.
“S.I. Newhouse and Sons: America’s Most Profitable Publisher,” Business Week, January 26, 1976.
In 1976 he purchased for $305 million Booth Newspapers, publisher of eight papers in Michigan, as well as Parade magazine, a syndicated Sunday newspaper magazine supplement.
Newhouse, as quoted in The New York Times (August 1979), was "not interested in molding the nation's opinion."
On June 2, 1980, The States-Item was gone but the surviving paper shared a joint banner using both names.
The first was in 1980, when they paid $70 million to RCA Corporation for Random House publishing, the leading general-interest book publisher at the time, thus acquiring the third type of media listed in Advance's statement of purpose.
By selling its five television stations to the Times Mirror Company for $82 million, the Newhouses were also able to finance their expansion into cable television systems, becoming the eighth-largest cable operator in the United States in 1981.
The first new issue included some 290 pages with a short novel by Gabriel Garcia Márquez, winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize for literature, and also articles by writer Gore Vidal and paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould.
Perhaps the most notable acquisition was the New Yorker for $200 million in 1983.
Photographer Irving Penn, described as “one of the greatest portrait photographers of the 20th century”, was enlisted in the Vanity Fair re-launch during 1983.
Three Vanity Fair cover stories during 1985 are sometimes credited as the turning point.
Herbert Mitgang, “Random House Buys Crown,” New York Times, August 16, 1988.
Geraldine Fabrikant, “Si Newhouse Tests His Magazine Magic,” New York Times, September 25, 1988.
Albert Scardino, “Big Spender at Vanity Fair Raises the Ante for Writers,” New York Times, April 17, 1989.
Given that Newhouse operated, according to the November 27, 1989 issue of Barron's, "not only one of the most powerful, but one of the most secretive family businesses in America," the public curiosity was understandable.
By 1989 the Sunday supplement was included in some 330 newspapers with a circulation of more than 35 million readers.
Also, in 1990 the long-standing litigation with the IRS was settled in the Newhouses' favor.
Vanity Fair’s circulation had jumped to 1.2 million by 1991.
Deirdre Carmody, “Tina Brown to Take Over at The New Yorker,” New York Times, July 1, 1992.
Geraldine Fabrikant, “The Media Business; Vanity Fair Is Hot Property, But Profit Is Open Question,” New York Times, July 13, 1992.
In 1993 the company offered $500 million to back QVC's bid to purchase Paramount, though QVC later lost their bid to Viacom.
In 1994 Advance acquired 25 percent of the computer and multimedia magazine Wired.
In 1994 Newhouse Broadcasting Corp. combined its cable operations with Time Warner to create Time Warner Entertainment-Advance-Newhouse.
Also in 1995 Advance purchased American City Business Journals for $269 million.
In 1995 Random House made an agreement with Planeta Internacional to distribute its Spanish-language books throughout the United States and Canada.
By 1996 Forbes magazine listed Si and Donald Newhouse as sharing a fortune worth at least $9 billion.
Meanwhile, Random House continued to be a good investment for Advance, enjoying a record year in 1996 with best-sellers from Oprah Winfrey, Michael Chrichton, Colin Powell, and Pope John Paul II.
But he is at core a businessman….” By 1997, Si and family had decided to sell Random, but they would not sell it to just anybody; there would have to be a genuine interest in the book business.
Lori Leibovich,. “Wired Nests with Condé Nast: Will the Magazine’s New Owners Dull its Edge?,” Salon.com, May 8, 1998.
“Citizen Newhouse,” (Autor, Carol Felsenthal on her book), C-SPAN Video.org, January 27, 1999.
Christine Schiavo, “Chain Buys Express-times Of Easton In Newhouse Group, Newspaper Joins Star-Ledger, Parade Magazine,” The Morning Call (Allentown, PA), July 6, 2000.
Lucky, a new creation, was launched in December 2000, cast as a shopping guide and style magazine primarily for women.
At the same time, three other magazines were closed in 2001 – Mademoiselle, Golf World, and Golf Digest.
Another magazine, Modern Bride, was acquired from Primedia for $52 million in 2002, and fit another slice of the Condé Nast upscale audience.
In the Cable TV arena, Advance and AOL/Time-Warner ended their cable partnership in 2002, as Advance changed the name of its cable operations to Bright House.
In early 2003, Teen Vogue was launched as a another new Condé Nast magazine with Gwen Stafani on the cover of the first issue.
Leslie Bennetts, “The Unsinkable Jennifer Aniston,” Vanity Fair, Septem- ber 2005.
Wintour, in fact, was famously played by Meryl Streep in the 2006 film, The Devil Wears Prada.
The film, bearing the title, The September Issue, was released in 2009. It chronicled the production of what was then the largest issue in Vogue magazine history, the September 2007 issue, running some 840 pages thick, 727 pages of which were ads.
In 2008, the Newark Star-Ledger for one may have lost as much as $40 million.
Richard Pérez-Pena, “Can Si Newhouse Keep Condé Nast’s Gloss Going?,” New York Times, July 20, 2008.
“Vanity Fair at 25: The Covers,” VanityFair.com, September 26, 2008.
The film, bearing the title, The September Issue, was released in 2009.
Stephanie Clifford, “Condé Nast Closes Gourmet and 3 Other Magazines,” New York Times, October 5, 2009.
In the first three months of 2009, The New Yorker’s ad pages were down 36 percent, and at Vogue and Vanity Fair, around 30 percent.
Matthew Flamm, “Advance Publications at Crossroads: Newhouse Family’s Business Units Fight to Keep up with Times as Succession Changes Loom,” CrainsNew York.com, November 21, 2010.
“Samuel I. Newhouse: Publishing Giant, Staten Island Legacy,” Staten Island Advance, Sunday, March 27, 2011,
Jeff Bercovici, “Condé Nast Swaggers Into the Entertainment Business,” Forbes, October 11, 2011.
His purchase of the Omaha World-Herald, where Buffett lives, may have been “one for the home town.” Yet, his May 2012 acquisition of Media General’s 63 newspapers in the southeast United States may suggest that local advertising revenue is alive and well, and possibly more.
Today, as of September 2012, Advance Publications is run at the corporate level by Sam’s two sons — S.I. Newhouse, Jr. (84), known as “Si,” and brother Donald Newhouse (81). Assorted other Newhouse family members assist in the management of various divisions and subsidiaries.
|Company Name||Founded Date||Revenue||Employee Size||Job Openings|
|American City Business Journals||1985||$280.0M||1,900||-|
|The Boston Globe||1872||$510.0M||2,200||34|
|Kshb / Kmci / The Ew Scripps Company||-||-||-||-|
|The Associated Press||1846||$568.1M||3,300||-|
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