Foodservice Industry’s Top Publisher to Merge With Leading Conference, Retail Group

Ideal Media LLC has agreed to merge the assets of its foodservice portfolio into CSP Information Group, Inc. Ideal Media’s foodservice portfolio includes Restaurant Business, FoodService Director, and Institutional Distribution (ID), as well as the MenuDirections conference, MonkeyDish.com and FoodServiceDirector.com.

Ideal Media’s Food Group was formed in 2005 to acquire Restaurant Business, FoodService Director and ID from VNU, now the Nielsen Co. Since then, the group has grown from a 10% market share to a 23% market share among 11 publications.

CSP magazine is the longtime leader in the convenience store publishing market. All members of the former Ideal Media Food Group will transition to the newly formed CSP Food Group.

Restaurant Business and CSP’s relationship began through a partnership in 2008 when Restaurant Business was named the official magazine partner for the Restaurant Leadership Conference, and both FoodService Director and Restaurant Business provided support for the launch of the Foodservice at Retail Expo (FARE). Both shows have set attendance records for their recent events. Restaurant Leadership features over 1,000 attendees representing more than half of all restaurant units in the United States.

The unsolicited bid is the result of CSP’s strategic vision to marry the leading industry conferences with the top foodservice publisher, and create communications opportunities across the entire industry as it spreads into retail.

“Blending our information assets will give us unprecedented market reach and create incredible value for our audiences, sponsors, and advertisers,” said Paul Reuter, president and CEO of CSP. “Now, wherever foodservice happens, we will have a magazine, conference, newsletter, or website for it.”

“We’ve built a strong relationship with the men and women at CSP through our conference partnerships the past two years, and we are thrilled to become full-time team members,” said Scott Allmendinger, vice president and group publisher of the CSP Food Group. “Their professionalism, spirit of innovation and dedication to their clients will be a perfect cultural fit for our entire group.”

“Being part of this dramatic growth been tremendously gratifying,” said Brian Reshefsky, president of CSP Food Group’s former parent company, Schofield Media Group LLC. “We will enjoy watching these brands go to the next level with the combined resources of CSP Information Group.

Andrew Schofield, chairman and CEO of Schofield Media Group, said “I am delighted and proud of the success that we have experienced, having taken on these titles at the bottom of their market in 2005 and, through the hard work from the team along with the right investments and operating strategy as of February 2010, overcame a 1,600 page gap in advertising to become #1 for the first time in more than 20 years. I look forward to seeing them continue their amazing run with CSP.”