Domino, once a red-hot Conde Nast magazine, has been sold for the second time in three years — and the fate of the print edition is up in the air.
The beloved title, focused on home decorating tips, has been sold to private equity firm North Equity.
“We’re ecstatic to finally welcome them to our family,” said Andrew Perlman, Managing Partner of North Equity, which last year bought the handyman special Bobvila.com. “Domino is a phenomenal addition to our portfolio, and better positions North both in interior design as well as the broader home and DIY landscape.”
While the Domino website and podcasts will continue, the new owners say they have yet to determine how to proceed with the print edition.
“Having only just acquired Domino, we have not made any decisions on the print product,” said a spokeswoman. “We will conduct the same thorough and thoughtful review we do with all of our brands that have print products in order to determine the best way forward.”
Jessica Romm Perez, Domino’s editor-in-chief for the past five years despite two ownership changes, said she will stay in her job under the new owners.
The magazine had been a monthly with a one million circulation base at Conde Nast when it folded in 2009 during the Great Recession. Since its 2013 relaunch, it’s been published as a quarterly with a high single-copy price sold primarily on newsstands.
Terms were not disclosed but North Equity has been on an acquisition spree of late. The company recently acquired some big US titles from Swedish publisher Bonnier, including Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, Popular Science and foodie title Savuer. North Equity also owns War Zone and Task & Purpose, aiming at military fans.
When Domino was revived after a four-year hiatus in 2013, it’s three tech entrepreneurs owners had hoped to transform the shelter mag into a vehicle for e-commerce. But as one insider pointed out, “editors are not buyers,” and the e-commerce formula never took off.
It was sold to Multiply Media in 2018, the company formerly known as Answers.com, which was emerging from bankruptcy and trying to broaden its portfolio with niche products in the digital space. Multiply also housed Fashionbeans and the wellness site HealthyWay. But the company was hurt by the change in Facebook’s algorithm later that year, which resulted in digital traffic plunging and layoffs.
The new owners hope to expand the fortunes of the title, which still has a big fan base of home design aficionados, including by pushing digital affinity marketing programs.
Most of the staff is expected to remain under the new ownership, including General Manager Tracy Cho, who will oversee business and editorial at Domino and Saveur. Reporting to Cho will be Domino’s Chief Creative Officer Kate Berry and EIC Romm Perez.