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Primedia eyes buy of Inside.com parent

The magazine publisher confirms that Powerful Media, whose holdings include Inside.com, is seeking a buyer and has approached Primedia about the possibility of a deal.

    Magazine publisher Primedia confirmed Monday that Powerful Media, whose holdings include Inside.com, is seeking a buyer and has approached Primedia about the possibility of a deal.

    "Powerful Media is shopping themselves around, and we've talked to them--but there's nothing to say," said Suzanne Gibbons-Neff, vice president of corporate communications at Primedia. "They're shopping around...and we're one of the people they've talked to."

    Michael Hirschorn, who oversees Inside magazine and its companion Web site, could not immediately be reached for comment.

    A source close to Inside said Kurt Andersen, founder and co-chairman at Inside, talked to employees Monday about a possible buyout, acquisition or investment deal but said no purchase was imminent.

    Earlier this year, Powerful Media was considering a deal with Standard Media International, publisher of New Economy magazine The Industry Standard, but those talks unraveled as the Standard was suffering financial woes of its own. In February, the Standard cut 69 jobs, or 17 percent of its staff.

    Powerful Media has about 100 employees and is believed to be quickly burning through its seed money as it struggles to meet subscription sales from its Web site.

    Primedia, publisher of Seventeen and New York, as well as specialty magazines such as Electronic Musician and Fly Fisherman, may be in a good position to buy Inside. Primedia recently acquired About.com, a guide to the Web organized by niche interests, for about $690 million.

    News.com's Jim Hu contributed to this report.