Times Publishing Company has sold Congressional Quarterly (CQ) (www.cq.com) to Roll Call Group (www.rollcallgroup.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Economist Group (www.economistgroup.com). Under the terms of the agreement, Roll Call has purchased the assets of CQ to form a new company to be called CQ-Roll Call Group.
JEGI CLARITY (www.jegiclarity.com), the leading independent investment bank for media, information, marketing services and related technologies, represented Congressional Quarterly in this transaction and acted as its exclusive financial advisor.
“We are delighted to welcome Congressional Quarterly to Roll Call,” said Laurie Battaglia, Managing Director and Executive Vice President of Roll Call Group, who will become the executive leader of the new merged enterprise. “The new CQ-Roll Call Group will have the largest and most experienced newsroom covering Washington and will be the leader in providing insight and analysis about the workings of Congress,” Battaglia said. “CQ and Roll Call are both highly regarded for unbiased, authoritative journalism and excellence.”
“The Times Publishing Company takes great pride in the success of Congressional Quarterly, and takes great pleasure in knowing that it has a very bright future as part of the new Economist Group,” said Paul Tash, Chairman and Chief Executive of Times Publishing Company. He said the Times is retaining its Governing Magazine division in Washington DC.
Each company has a storied and distinct history covering Congress and Washington politics and policy. Since 1945, CQ has been the “publication of record,” providing factual, unbiased coverage of congressional activity. In recent years, CQ has been at the forefront of developing Internet services that provide real-time intelligence on the workings of Congress.
Roll Call, founded in 1955 and acquired by the Economist Group in 1992, has been at the center of the Capitol Hill community, providing a look into the people, politics, and personalities that drive the legislative process. This focus on community has led to strategic expansion into trade association-based grassroots mobilization with the acquisition of Capitol Advantage in 2008.
The CQ-Roll Call Group intends to maintain each company’s unique editorial voice, and thus there are no current plans to eliminate any products.
Robert W. Merry, President and Editor-in-Chief of CQ for the past 12 years, will not be retained by the CQ-Roll Call Group. “As in many such instances of two companies coming together,” Merry said, “one CEO inevitably becomes extraneous. In this situation, that’s me.”
Our organization has done very little M&A work, so the guidance and counsel that JEGI CLARITY provided to Times Publishing in the sale of Congressional Quarterly in 2009 and CQ Press the year before was extremely valuable. I was particularly impressed by the tenacity and discipline of the entire JEGI CLARITY team, coupled with its professional approach. In a difficult and fragile economy, they navigated to a very successful outcome for both seller and buyer.
Paul Tash, Chairman & CEO, Times Publishing Company