Irish Studio, a New York digital media company which owns IrishCentral.com has acquired six consumer magazine brands from Norah Casey’s Harmonia for an undisclosed sum. The titles include Irish Tatler, Irish Tatler Man, U Magazine, FOOD&WINE Magazine, Auto Ireland and Ireland of the Welcomes.
Irish Studio is led by owner and executive chairman Liam Lynch. As a venture capital investor and media executive, he has managed, acquired, started, or invested in over 25 private companies and mentored many others.
Commenting on the deal, Norah Casey chair and owner of Harmonia said: “I’m looking forward to working closely with Liam and his team. This is an exciting development ensuring these iconic brands are moving to a company that will develop their digital presence and global reach.”
Norah Casey will continue to work on the previous brands as Chairwoman Emeritus. In addition, she will continue to own and manage Harmonia’s remaining brands, which includes the award winning weekly magazine, Woman’s Way, and Planet Women.
According to Liam Lynch the deal is “a major acquisition that realizes our strategy of rolling up established brands onto our digital platform. These six brands, including Irish Tatler, are trusted brands that people love. We will continue to loyally service our treasured print readers while also bringing these titles online to engage and entertain new audiences.”
Lynch added, “We stand on the shoulders of giants with Norah’s successful leadership of these iconic brands and Niall O’Dowd’s creation of the highly influential Irish Diaspora site, Irish Central. We will honor those legacies as a key part of our mission to entertain and inform the Irish and Irish Diaspora communities around the world. We are delighted that Ciaran Casey will be joining us in an executive role to roll out the new strategy and particularly pleased that Norah will continue to stay closely involved with the business.”
Mike Rich, Aol and Bertelsmann digital media and entertainment veteran, serves as Irish Studio’s CEO and he says that “it’s an honor to have these iconic titles join our family. It further realizes our house of brands strategy, which allows us to super-serve and build on the highly engaged communities around these areas of great passion. It also enables our advertising and brand partners to reach these audiences in an effective and efficient manner across our Digital, Social, Mobile, Video and Experiential platforms.”
Irish Studio was created by Liam Lynch, a New York-based venture capitalist and media executive, and is supported by Irish American co-investors. Mike Rich, media and entertainment veteran, serves as Irish Studio’s CEO. Its mission is to provide premium storytelling and experiences through video, events, print, social, and digital platforms.
In 2016, Irish Studio purchased Irish Central which was founded by Niall O’Dowd in 2009. The company is headquartered in New York City, with editorial and advertising representatives in Ireland. Irish Central is at the centre of major news announcements affecting the Irish community. It provides political, current affairs, entertainment, and historical commentary to the Irish community throughout the world and has a proud history of social and community engagement. Mr. O’Dowd has been an advocate for the global Irish community for over 30 years and currently serves as Irish Studio’s Vice Chairman.
Irish Central caters to 34 million Irish Americans and 70 million Irish diaspora and receives 3.5 million unique visitors per month. It has a large and quickly growing social media following, including 610k Facebook followers, 35k Twitter followers, and 21k followers on Instagram. The brands also enjoy a 500k newsletter subscriber list.
Advisors on the transaction for Harmonia included Feargal Brennan and Niamh Rouse from Byrne Wallace. Advisors for Irish Studio included Mark Flynn from Studio.VC, Philip Koutnik and Steven Laabs from Husch Blackwell and Ross Little from DWF.