AddThis SmartLayers

Regional publisher expands magazine empire with new acqusition

A leading regional publisher has announced a major expansion after acquiring around 40 niche magazine titles.

DC Thomson, which publishes The Press & Journal and other major Scottish dailies alongside magazines such as The People’s Friend and The Beano, has purchased Aceville Publications, home to a series of specialist craft, gardening, health and food publications.

The Dundee-based publisher says the move is the largest acquisition within its media business for a number of years and will “materially change the landscape for DC Thomson Media.”

Based in Colchester, Aceville’s brands include Let’s Knit, Grow your Own, Healthy Diet, Busymitts and Craft Store.


The purchase will create a combined portfolio of around 70 magazines together with their companion and will, according to DC Thomson, establish it as one of the top 5 consumer magazine publishers in the UK.

Chief executive Mike Watson, said, “We’re excited to have acquired Aceville and are looking forward to working together.

“The team at Aceville, and their portfolio, are a great fit for our business and this collaboration opens up a host of opportunities for both businesses.  This is a hugely exciting time for everyone at DC Thomson Media and Aceville.”

“This acquisition will materially change our landscape and is a key step in our Protect, Launch, Diversify strategy.”

Matthew Tudor, managing director at Aceville, added: “We’re thrilled to be joining DC Thomson Media.  They have great heritage and credibility in the publishing industry and I’m looking forward to working together to strengthen the combined portfolio.

“DC Thomson Media holds some brilliant brands and I’m confident the Aceville titles and expertise will complement this.  The portfolios align brilliantly and bring real opportunity to improve content for all of our readers.”


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • September 21, 2018 at 10:22 am

    These mags of all companies that look glossy but contain nothing but fluff and puff writing seem to be able to attract advertising, unless it is being sold cheaply.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(6)
  • September 21, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Well if anything requires fluffy writing, it must be knitting…..

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(5)
  • September 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    It’s very simple
    Magazines aim for a specific market or demographic,unlike a local paper which both has an undefined and unspecific readership and which tries to grab any advertising it can and at any price irrrspective of whether the advertise will reach their target audience and get sufficient response and roi.
    Add in the fact that so few copies of the papers are being sold and it’s an unappealing proposition for any business looking to reach a target readership.
    This is one of the main reasons for the collapse of regional ad revenues;reps being told to get any advertising from whoever just to hit a target and get a bonus.
    Magazines are one of the only sectors in publishing who, in many cases, are growing
    readerships and commercial revenues.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(9)
  • September 21, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    I am with you Phillip. I admire the way they target an audience and attract ads and the presentation is so much better than newspapers. But the content of general mags is usually so dull and the journalism best described as soft. Still, if that’s what people want with their coffee and biscuits, well done! This one appeals more to a specific audience, which is slightly different.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)
  • September 22, 2018 at 8:47 am

    It’s the blind panic of ad managers being pushed to hit budgets,and ad reps being told to go anywhere to get money, which has indeed hastened the collapse of regional paper advertising revenues in the last few years.
    Factor in freefalling copy sales,dreadful and irrelevant content and the growth of hyper local community news papers and you have the perfect storm for the collapse of local papers by the once bigger publishers. .
    A clear target audience, be they knitters or train enthusiasts, is what a business serving those markets is after and any publication able to reach those people will always attract ad revenues without the need to discount, have ‘blitz’ sales days or offer the old cliche of ‘late space’ to fill their pages.
    The fact they intend to improve and develop content will also encourage both readers and advertisers.
    Good luck to the team at DCT on these latest acquisitions.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)