Non-TV Story: Popular Frommer’s Travel Guides, Which Were Sold to Google Last Summer for $23 Million, Have Been Bought Back by the Company’s 83-Year-Old Founder, Who Will Soon Publish in Print Once Again

July 15, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Arthur Frommer, the 83-year-old founder of of his namesake company, which is known for popular travel guides, has bought the brand back from Google, which did not publish any Frommer’s guidebooks.

"Now he is moving quickly to release his first batch of books in October under a new name, FrommerMedia," reports The New York TImes.

The story continues, "Mr. Frommer, often considered the father of the travel-guide business, wrote and published his first guide, ‘The G.I.’s Guide to Traveling in Europe,’ when he was a young Army corporal living in Berlin. That guide, turned into a book called ‘Europe on $5 a Day,’ became a huge success."

The article adds, "He has not had direct control over the Frommer’s guides for decades. In 1977, Frommer’s was sold to Simon & Schuster and later acquired by John Wiley & Sons. (Mr. Frommer remained involved as a consultant.) Last year, Google paid about $23 million for the brand, saying that it would incorporate the Frommer’s content from its books, mobile apps and Web site into local reviews. This year, it sold the brand back to Mr. Frommer for an undisclosed price. By the end of 2014, Mr. Frommer expects to release as many as 80 books. Mr. Frommer and his daughter, Pauline, will be co-presidents of the company. A new series, called EasyGuides, are an answer to the increasingly lengthy travel guides on the market that Mr. Frommer said were too long to be practical."

The story also notes that the popularity of the Internet has contributed to reduced sales of most travel guides in recent years.

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