Tuesday, June 26, 2007

BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Time, USPS, Reiman and Circ

"If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint."
Edward Hopper (American Painter who strongly influenced the Pop art and New Realist painters of the 1960s and 1970s. 1882-1967)

BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Time, USPS, Reiman and Circ

RE: Buyers Still Choose Time's Circ Over Audience
The statement that "newsweeklies face a tough ad environment" is interesting, given that The Economist and The Nation have substantial growth in ad pages so far this year and that U.S. News is also up. I guess Lucia Moses is defining "newsweekly" as Time and Newsweek -- wrong definition, and wrong diagnosis. The problem is not newsweeklies but rather mass media. Niches are thriving; mass media are dying.
(Submitted by a Paper Person)

RE: BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Magazines now and Later
Just read about the WallSt Journal and USA TODAY providing a Free Magazine for their Weekend Editions, similar to the New York Times. What is most interesting here is that the Google model of free content and a cheap efficient distribution system is working to HELP newspapers by providing the magazine and its contents FREE, Will the day come when daily newspapers in the major cities give away the paper as contents and rely on Advertising for Revenue.. Isn't that the true competition for the WEB???
(Submitted by a Publisher)

Re: Meredith's Griffin Describes Whirlwind of Change, Both for Industry and for Company
Griffin has his act put together. Hope everyone in the audience was listening and hearing, except those folks East of the Hudson, who probably think Griffin represents a company from the 'OUTBACK'.
(Submitted by a Paper Person)

Re: No Reprieve on Postal Rate Hike
Hi Bob: Wow. What does the mailing industry do when faced with monopolistic decisions made by a small handful of unelected officials who scoff at the laws of supply and demand, and scoff at the industries who depend on the postal monopoly as a lifeline to their customers?

This, without a doubt, was one of the worst rate cases in postal history. Even USPS, while trying to mitigate catalog increases, bought into the malarky being peddled by the big publishers, who for years have been trying to strike a death blow to smaller publishers and remove the hated "fragmentation" of the periodical industry so loathed by Time Inc.

If Time Inc could succeed in killing 50% of the periodical industry, they would be partying in the halls, lighting their cigars with $100 bills, and offering free makeovers to all employees. But, does the USPS exist to function as a tool of Time Inc and big publishers?

Why are weird things happening? One big reason is the near complete and total abandonment of efforts find viable means and methods of alternate delivery. What do you do when faced with a monopoly? You do everything in your power to inject competition, real competition, into the marketplace. A monopoly, unchecked, will ultimately render the kind of decisions imbedded in this ugly rate case. If this case is not a wake up call to the mailing industries, what then will it take? The mailing industries need to suspend their "zero-sum" battles, and find a common ground. That common ground should be the long, slow, painful, and costly march to building viable alternative delivery systems that can provide a break on USPS rate increases.

The only shorter term relief here may be in the response to the inevitable failure of these rates. If the response is to reduce rates, there might be some relief, but it would be at least 1-2 years away. Even if it comes, it would be a mistake to continue the policy of

ignoring the need for viable alternative delivery systems as the best way to battle USPS and its quirky rate making bodies, the PRC and BOG.
(Submitted by a publishing expert at a major university)

Re: BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Magazines now and Later
Bo, Latest on Reiman happened last week but announced on Tuesday. The name is being dropped off the door, Newton got fired, who has run the show for the last three years. RDA is not really RDA anymore because it is owned by Ripplewood. The name that is going on the door is RDA Milwaukee. Quote of the day came out of some guy in the announcement to the press, "Reiman is not the brand, the titles are", What rock has this guy been hiding under?"

The next thing, it has been also told to the Reiman folks that they will begin selling advertising in their publications. This will be the beginning of the end as their subscribers will bail at renewal time. Taste Of Home is already on a downward trend after peaking at about 5.4 million just before Readers Digest purchased Reiman for $750 million. The biggest problem that faces these decision makers is many subscribers they have are multiple in nature and receive several titles. whoops.
(Submitted by a Paper Person)

RE: 'Time' Shoving Its Reluctant Writers Online
I'm curious . . . were the editorial obligations for print adjusted to allow for the additional time needed to produce unique pieces on the web? In this day and age, I'd think not. No wonder some of the writers are reluctant to increase their workload for no additional compensation. Is it the usual, "you're lucky to still have a job" spiel from management?
(Submitted by an Editor)

RE: Biggest Threat to Newspapers Is ... MySpace?
Bob; Maybe it's just having been on vacation and out of touch for ten days, but your recent articles (Time editors, Time.com, Time Circ, Yahoo, Paper pricing, and MySpace, among others) ALL seem to be particularly relevant to the industry's current plight (not current "situation"). The changes are coming at warp speed. The good news is that for anybody not paying attention, the end will be mercifully quick.
(Submitted by a Senior Director of Manufacturing and Dst)

What a jackass. You lose more credibility every day.
(Submitted by a Director of Operations)
((Written in regards to Bush Quotations which were incorrectly attributed by Bo))

RE: paper Companies
Nobody likes to hear about threats to their business model; if it worked in the past, and it has, it should work in the future. This attitude is also very prevalent at XXX. . . . Unfortunately things change. Just ask the people at Polaroid. I still like to read the printed word on paper, but I am an old geezer. I just don't like bending over a computer terminal since I may have been on it all day. With my old eyes, I like the small columns of printed articles in newspapers and magazines and not the written story the width of the computer screen. For me it is simply easier to follow. But my kids seldom read a newspaper or look at a magazine. I guess I never knew in the old days when I was calling on you, I was going to be the company of a star.

(Submitted by an old friend and former paper sales person to BoSacks)

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