New Yorker magazine, the tony home of some of the nation's best authors, poets and artists, agreed yesterday to a $142 million takeover by media conglomerate Advance Publications Inc., publisher of such magazines as Vogue and Parade.
Directors of the magazine's parent company, New Yorker Magazine Inc., agreed to a $200-a-share offer , an improvement over the $180 a share proposed by Advance last month. Advance, which descends from the old Newhouse newspaper empire, bought 17 percent of the New Yorker's stock last year.
The New Yorker, which has a weekly circulation of about 500,000, celebrated its 60th anniversary last month with its traditional cover drawing of its dignified symbol, Eustace Tilley.
Advance Chairman S. I. Newhouse Jr. promised that the fiercely independent weekly magazine's editorial and business operations would be kept separate from Advance's other holdings, which include 29 newspapers, a cable television system, and the Random House book publishing firm -- in addition to the Conde' Nast chain of magazines. Some analysts have worried that under new ownership, the New Yorker's tradition of accuracy and independence could be compromised.
"The agreement provides that the company will operate on a stand-alone basis as a separate company following the merger with continuation of present directors, officers and employes," the magazine said in a statement. "It also states that Advance intends to preserve the quality of the New Yorker magazine through maintaining its personnel, practices and traditions."
Neither Newhouse nor officials of the magazine could be reached for comment yesterday.
The New Yorker is considered one of the magazine-publishing industry's finest properties, because of its reputation for editorial excellence and its high-quality, high-income readership base. The magazine is always fat with advertising, and last year its parent company earned $5.6 million on revenue of $81.4 million.
The New Yorker is the company's primary business, but it also owns interests in two smaller magazines -- Horticulture and Cook's -- a small printing company, and a stake in a maker of computer terminals.