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As rumors swirled that tech giant Apple is readying a bid for luxury publisher Condé Nast, the magazine house told NBC News it is not for sale.
Steve Newhouse, chair of Advance.net, the digital division of Advance Publications — which owns the Condé Nast empire that includes iconic titles such as Vanity Fair, Vogue and The New Yorker — said in a statement to NBC News, “Condé Nast is not, has never been, and will not be, for sale.”
Apple had no immediate comment on the rumors. It is, however, offering premium online content as part of Texture, the digital subscription service it bought in March, which was part-owned by Condé Nast. Texture costs $9.99 per month for access to more than 200 magazines through its smartphone app.
Apple’s push into news content is seen as a counterpoint to Facebook and YouTube, both of which have been under fire for allowing popular fake conspiracies to gain prominence on their platforms.
“We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, after the announcement on Texture’s acquisition.
One source familiar with the operation said Apple is considering publishing exclusives from certain magazines on Texture first.
In April, Apple News released an exclusive excerpt of Senator John McCain’s upcoming memoir, “The Restless Wave.” It is the first time Apple News has launched exclusive premium content on its iOS.
The magazine business, while growing digital and video audiences, is suffering from an ongoing decline in advertising revenue. Once known for its lavish spending and generous expense accounts, Condé Nast is looking to reposition itself in the digital era, developing a successful TV and movie business even while it has closed print editions of titles such as Teen Vogue and Self.
Print advertising is projected to suffer an 18 percent decline in revenue this year, according to ad forecaster Magna Global.