John Veronis, Who Brokered Major Media Transactions, Dies at 93

John Veronis, an ebullient funding banker whose boutique agency specialised in main media offers, together with Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition of the corporate that owned TV Guide, and who had earlier helped launch Psychology Today, died on June 24 at his residence in Manhattan. He was 93.

His spouse, Lauren Veronis, confirmed the demise.

Mr. Veronis had spent 30 years within the journal enterprise — he began at Popular Science within the late 1940s and helped make Psychology Today a fast success in 1967 — when he found his facility for placing consumers and sellers collectively. In one occasion, Irvin J. Borowsky, a writer of worthwhile commerce magazines, requested for his recommendation about Cue journal, the leisure and eating information, which had been shedding cash.

“He couldn’t see it clearly,” Mr. Veronis stated in a 2007 interview with the Drucker Institute, based by Peter Drucker, a an professional on fashionable administration. He instructed his shopper that Cue would proceed to bleed pink ink and endanger his stronger magazines.

“Why hold onto Cue?” Mr. Veronis recalled asking, to which Mr. Borowsky replied, “My wife loves it.”

“Get rid of her or it,” Mr. Veronis instructed him, he recalled in “A Meaningful Life,” a memoir written completely for his household.

He earned $400,000 for arranging Cue’s sale to Mr. Murdoch in 1980. He was stunned to listen to from a buddy that he had performed the work of an funding banker.

“I couldn’t believe this was what investment banking was about,” he instructed the Drucker Institute. “All I did was sell experience and knowledge.”

In 1981, Mr. Veronis introduced that have and information to Veronis, Suhler & Associates, which he began with John Suhler, a former president of the CBS Publishing Group. Their timing was good: Media offers have been taking off.

The agency shortly grew to become a frontrunner in brokering the gross sales of magazines, a thriving medium that had not but been fragmented by the web.

Over the subsequent decade, the agency organized the sale of Diamandis Communications, which revealed Women’s Day and Car and Driver, to Hachette Publications for $712 million; Details, the style journal, to Condé Nast Publications; and Walter Annenberg’s Triangle Publications, the proprietor of TV Guide and Seventeen, to Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation for $three billion.

“John Veronis was very much the entrepreneur and outward-facing partner, with many key relationships with the important media leaders and owners from around the world,” stated Jeffrey Stevenson, managing companion of what’s now Veronis Suhler Stevenson, which is now not concerned in media however invests in info, enterprise providers, well being care and training industries.

The agency was additionally concerned within the sale of Capital Cities’ tv station in Buffalo and the acquisition of two TV stations by the Telemundo Group, the operator of Spanish-language networks that’s now a part of NBCUniversal.

In 1990, Mr. Veronis helped dealer the merger between two nascent satellite tv for pc providers in Britain — Mr. Murdoch’s Sky Broadcasting and British Satellite Broadcasting, which had accrued whole losses of greater than $1.5 billion in a short while — by easing tensions between Mr. Murdoch and Peter Davis, the chief government of Reed International, a key British Satellite shareholder.

“The two men were not just fierce competitors,” Mr. Veronis wrote in his memoir, “they despised each other.”

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During dinner at Claridge’s in London, Mr. Veronis wrote, he suggested the rivals that in the event that they continued to compete, “they were doomed to fail.”

The merger, introduced in November 1990, created British Sky Broadcasting, often known as BSkyB. Mr. Veronis earned $1 million from Mr. Murdoch — a cut-rate price, Lauren Veronis stated in a cellphone interview, “because Rupert was busted.”

The firm got here to be referred to as Sky, with operations throughout Europe. It was acquired by Comcast in 2018 for $39 billion.

Mr. Veronis in 2010 along with his spouse, Lauren. He retired that 12 months however remained lively, serving to his son and stepson with their very own corporations.Credit…Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

John James Veronis was born on March 6, 1928, in New Brunswick, N.J., and grew up in Easton, Pa. He was one among six kids of Greek immigrants; his father, Nicholas, had been a author however took jobs in a fur manufacturing unit and diners within the United States; his mom, Angeliki (Eftimakis) Veronis, was a homemaker.

After graduating from Lafayette College in Easton, John headed to Manhattan, the place he was employed at Popular Science journal and shortly grew to become its promoting director. He moved to Field and Stream, then to The American Home, a month-to-month journal the place he achieved a serious breakthrough for the publication by bringing in promoting from Procter & Gamble. He rose to writer; a number of years after the journal was acquired by Curtis Publishing, he grew to become president of the corporate’s journal division.

After leaving Curtis, he spent practically two years at the Interpublic Group of Companies, the promoting large, the place he performed analysis on what motivated customers. His findings revealed, amongst different issues, the potential marketplace for about psychology.

Coincidentally, in 1967, Nicolas Charney was attempting to launch Psychology Today. Mr. Charney, who had a doctorate in biology and biopsychology and knew Mr. Veronis’s brother George, a distinguished oceanographer, requested Mr. Veronis for assist. Mr. Veronis guided him to enterprise and circulation specialists; as soon as the journal started publication, Mr. Charney contacted him once more.

“We had a tiger by the tail, but our debts were growing,” Mr. Charney recalled by cellphone. “So I said: ‘Let’s join forces. I’ll give you half my stock and we’ll move forward as equal partners.’ He joined, and within two weeks he raised $1 million.”

They constructed a enterprise that included a well-liked textbook, video games and academic movies, then bought the corporate in 1971 to the Boise Cascade Corporation for an trade of inventory valued at $21.5 million. (Psychology Today lists its present circulation at about 250,000.)

Mr. Veronis and Mr. Charney have been much less profitable of their acquisition that 12 months of Saturday Review for a reported $5.5 million; after splitting the venerable journal into 4 separate monthlies, they filed for chapter in 1973.

They had yet one more enterprise collectively: Book Digest, full of excerpts from present greatest sellers, which began in 1974 and was bought to Dow Jones 4 years later for about $10 million.

Three years later, inspired by the funding recommendation he was giving others, Mr. Veronis began his agency with Mr. Suhler.

After Mr. Veronis retired in 2010, he devoted a few of his time to serving to his son Nicholas along with his monetary expertise firm, iCapital Network, and his stepson, Harlan Peltz, along with his mortgage lender, iBorrow.

In addition to his spouse, his son Nicholas and his stepson, Mr. Veronis is survived by his daughter, Jane Veronis; one other son, John; his stepdaughters, Perri Peltz and Alexandra Peltz Gelb; 14 grandchildren; his sister, Mary Thompson; and his brother, Alexander. His marriage to Sarah Shepard resulted in divorce.

Before Mr. Veronis’s first assembly with Mr. Murdoch and Mr. Davis to debate the British satellite tv for pc merger in 1990, he and his spouse knocked on doorways in London. If a house had a satellite tv for pc dish, they requested if the resident was happy with the service. At properties with out dishes, they requested residents if they’d take into account subscribing to Sky or British Satellite.

It was the kind of market analysis that Mr. Veronis had performed in his early days in magazines — and it gave him vital info to deliver to his discussions with Mr. Murdoch and Mr. Davis.

Mr. Veronis discovered that some subscribers didn’t know the variations in high quality between the 2 satellite tv for pc providers, and that others have been cautious of the steep price of a dish.

“They were confused,” Ms. Veronis stated, “but John had clarity.”