Mark Allen Group acquires Gramaphone

One of the most iconic brands in publishing, Gramophone, is to be acquired by the Mark Allen Group, a family-owned independent company with 50 magazines and journals in different markets, including jazz.

Gramophone, which is owned by Haymarket Media Group, was founded in 1923 and has a worldwide reputation for the excellence and authority of its classical music reviews.

The title, which is available in print, online and as a Sunday Times Top 500 app, has recently hosted the internationally renowned Gramophone Classical Music Awards, achieving substantial media coverage.

Previous award winners have included Herbert von Karajan, Nigel Kennedy, Sir Simon Rattle, Riccardo Chailly, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Nelson Freire, as well as this year’s Lifetime Achievement winner, Julian Bream.

Gramophone boasts a highly accomplished editorial team, headed by editor Martin Cullingford and the editor-in-chief and former editor, James Jolly, who also presents “Sunday Morning” on BBC Radio 3. It has a galaxy of celebrated reviewers.

Mark Allen, the chairman of the Mark Allen Group, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be buying Gramophone, which I have always admired. Gramophone is such a formidable brand it will add gravitas to our music publishing interests. It is a fitting stable mate to Jazzwise, the country’s market-leading jazz magazine, which we acquired earlier this year.”

He added: “Although we have a varied and diverse portfolio, music is a particular interest of mine. For the past seven years I have organised the Wiltshire Jazz Festival and, in time, I hope we may be able organise a regional festival in the field of classical music.

“Haymarket has excellent brands with superb production values. Given our history with Haymarket and the other magazines we have acquired from them in the past, we anticipate Gramophone will be seamlessly accommodated within our company.”

Commenting on the proposed acquisition, Haymarket CEO Kevin Costello said, “Gramophone is a famous brand serving the international classical music market through a growing number of traditional and digital channels.

“Recent successes of the team include the launch of a digital archive and app, included in The Sunday Times Top 500 Apps.

Subject to contract and completion of staff consultation, it is hoped that completion will take place by the end of October or early November 2013.