Private equity now just adding zeros for fun

Reader's Digest Association, the company that puts out the hugely read, perfectly insipid little magazine that leads the world in publishing tame jokes and shortened...

Reader's Digest Association, the company that puts out the hugely read, perfectly insipid little magazine that leads the world in publishing tame jokes and shortened inspirational magazine stories, has been sold, the WSJ reports. The price? Two-point-freaking-four-billion dollars.

That's a lotta scratch for a little magazine that caters to those who think articles in Ladies Home Journal are too in-depth. I would think that we would all be hoping for Reader's Digest to fade slowly into the past and disappear, like World War I or the Ku Klux Klan. But with a US circulation of 18 million and a worldwide circulation of 80 million, that obviously isn't happening.

The upshot is, if you have any type of media property-- church bulletin, youth league newsletter, inter-office memo-- now is the time to sell it to a private equity firm. If Reader's Digest is worth that much, my college term paper on Descartes should fetch at least a million.

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