Robert Parker has indeed struck a deal to sell The Wine Advocate to a group of Singapore businessmen with as main shareholder Soo Hoo Khoon Peng, formerly of wine importers Hermitage, as reported by Decanter.
More importantly, it seems confirmed now that the investors are primarily looking to “allow advertising, allow independent reviewers to conduct public speaking events, presentations and seminars all for a fee”.
As I posted before, the inclusion of lifestyle adverts is thus to become a reality. These adverts may not compromise the judgment and independence of the TWA wine reviewers per se. But in the eyes of those numerous wine enthusiasts that associate the magazine with the credibility of its founder and figurehead, who has always categorically refused monetary gain from advertising, it may tarnish the credibility of the publication.
Whilst an online version in English and Chinese may stretch the breadth of The Wine Advocate brand, even advertising not directly related to wine may make TWA look too shallow worth buying.
Regardless, investors are taking the business where they think the action is.