NEW YORK -- The founders of Ms. magazine, which has explored and expounded the feminist position for the past 15 years, have agreed to sell the magazine to Australia's largest media conglomerate.
Gloria Steinem and Patricia Carbine, who founded Ms. in 1972, said Wednesday they have agreed to sell Ms. to John Fairfax Ltd., the Australian publisher of 80 magazines and 53 newspapers.
Terms of the transaction for the 480,000-circulation magazine were not disclosed. The deal calls for Ms. to continue publication under Fairfax Publications, a new U.S. subsidiary of John Fairfax Ltd.
The subsidiary will be headed by Anne Summers and Sandra Yates.
Steinem and Carbine, who will serve as consultants to Ms. for the next five years, hailed the proposed sale as a sign of the growth of international feminism.
'The feminist and journalistic leadership of Anne Summers and Sandra Yates, plus the financial backing of an internationally respected publishing company like Fairfax, is exactly what Ms. has been looking for,' Steinem said.
Summers, a journalist, author and feminist activist, also served as head of Australia's Office of the Status of Women.
Yates, the president of Fairfax Publications, served as the secretary of Australia's Women's Electoral Lobby and a founding member of the lobby's Council for the Single Mother and her Child.
'The opportunity to carry forward the Ms. tradition is a terrific honor,' Yates said.
Fairfax said it intends to invest heavily in Ms. to build its lagging circulation and advertising base. The publishing company hopes to boost the magazine's circulation to 650,000 within five years.
Since 1979, Ms. has operated under the tax-exempt umbrella of the Ms. Foundation for Education and Communication Inc. and has survived largely on grants and contributions.
Founded in 1841, Fairfax publishes such newspapers as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Melbourne Age, and The Australian Financial Review. The company also publishes in Australia such U.S. magazines as Woman's Day, People, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping and Time.