How much will Slate sell for?

Online commentary journal Slate Magazine – which was put up for sale two weeks ago by Microsoft – could fetch $10 millon to $12 million, or twice its $6 million annual revenue, say analysts.

Whereas magazines generally sell for an amount equal to or just above their annual revenue, the “prestige value” of Slate will probably warrant a significantly higher price tag, said investment banker Jeff Dearth.

“It might go for much higher,” said Mr. Dearth, a Washington-based partner of DeSilva & Phillips, a New York investment-banking boutique specializing in publishing industry transactions. “There is an intangible ego value to owning Slate.There is a lot of cachet to owning a ‘thought leader’ publication in intellectual or political circles.”

The business model is based around ad revenue, given the high spending value of Slate’s readers:

Slate’s demographics, according to Neilsen/Netratings, include an audience that is overwhelmingly male – 63.4% to 36.6% – and older, with more than 38% of its audience between 35 and 49 and 44.6% over 45. The company said 29% of Slate’s audience reports earning more than $100,000 annually, with 45.3% reporting incomes between $50,000 and $100,000.

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