a media industry resource

Advance / Newhouse Group


This page looks at the media interests of the Newhouse family, in particular the Advance magazine publishing group.

It covers -

  • introduction
  • shape
  • studies
  • the New Yorker and other journals


The Newhouse family, through its Advance Group and other holdings, has global magazine interests, along with US newspapers, the odd cable television network and the other trinkets collected by media czars.

Overall revenue as of 2002 is around US$5 billion, with 40% from its US newspapers but higher profits and revenue growth in the magazine sector. As of 2000 Advance was the fifth-largest newspaper publisher in the US and its third-largest magazine publisher.


Advance came to public attention as a national newspaper chain in the style of Gannett and Knight-Ridder: lots of minor papers (generally in monopoly or duopoly positions) with an emphasis on profits over editorial quality.

In 1980 Advance bought the Random House group from RCA. Random went on to buy paperback publisher Fawcett Books in 1982, Times Books from the New York Times in 1984, Fodor's Travel Guides in 1986, Chatto, Virago, Bodley Head & Jonathan Cape in 1987, Crown Publishing Group (Crown, Clarkson Potter, Harmony Books and the Outlet Books) in 1988, Century Hutchinson in 1989 and the trade division of Reed Books in 1997.

In 1998 Advance sold its book interests to Bertelsmann. It's subsequently extended its US newspaper and global magazine interests.


Carol Felsenthal's Citizen Newhouse: Portrait of a Media Merchant (New York: Seven Stories 1998) is the major biography of grand acquisitor Sam Newhouse, under fire for desecrating that holy of holies the New Yorker after supposedly raping & pillaging Random House before selling it off to Bertelsmann.

The mogul - reminiscent of Walter Annenberg - was the subject of the earlier, slighter Newhouse: All That Glitter, Power & Glory (New York: Birch Lane 1997) by Thomas Maier and the more substantial Newspaperman: S. I. Newhouse & the Business of News (New Haven: Ticknor & Fields 1983) by Richard Meeker. He appears in the major biographies of McCarthy associate Roy Cohn, such as Nicholas von Hoffman's Citizen Cohn (London: Harrap 1988).

The Man Who Was Vogue: The Life & Times of Conde Nast (London: Viking 1982) by Caroline Seebohm is an entertaining biography of the founder of Vogue, now part of the Newhouse magazine interests.

The New Yorker and other journals

This site features more detailed notes on

  • the New Yorker - here
  • Vogue and Vanity Fair - here