Wednesday, September 26, 2007

BoSacks Readers Speaks Out: Printing, Publishing, Spirals? and Paper

BoSacks Readers Speaks Out: Printing, Publishing, Spirals? and Paper

RE: Magazines: How 'Vogue' and the other cool prints stay ahead

None of the magazines I subscribe to, and read, could be called "cool" by any stretch of the imagination. If advertisers follow "cool" and "hot" titles because some marketing person describes them as such, my bet is the client will be hiring a new agency within six to eight months. For the zillionth time, it's about compelling editorial on subjects the reader is interested in, and will pay full price for - subscriber or newsstand. For example, The Economist is the only remaining newsweekly that is gaining subscribers and advertisers, because they give their educated readers great content. Now, THAT's cool!
(Submitted by a Senior Director of Manufacturing and distribution)

Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: Is Anyone in Control Here?

Bob, to a degree the consumer is in control. What you fail ro recognize is that the large chains have taken control of the wholesalers distribution channel. This is who dictates what is going to be on the newsstand racks. it has been that way since 1996-97. They are telling the Anderson's, Source?Levy & TNG what they want. Unfortunately these big guys let this happen. They are the ones who lost control of the marketplace.
(Submitted by a Distributor)

Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: Is Anyone in Control Here?

Bo, Longtime reader and big fan, but I have a hard time believing that I am reading columns about newsstands and rate bases in 2007. Publishers worried about newsstand efficiency and the balance of crap (excuse me) vs real subs on their file are long since doomed.

I love magazines, I read magazines and spent most of my career in magazines. Unfortunately they are the equivalent of trains in the transportation industry, I will take one to boston or dc once in a while, but flying is always better.

We should just all admit we are in the wind down phase of print publishing and manage that part of our media mix as such, and get on with the continued proliferation of our products on the web.
(Submitted by an Industry Supplier) Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: Is Anyone in Control Here?

I was taught that publishing was like flying a 747 with 4 engines - very difficult to get them all in sync, but when you did, the plane flew like a dream for years and years.

1.Identify and serve the consumers you need to 'round up' for advertisers.

2. Build an audience advertisers want (whoever they are), and be able to prove who they are.

3. Build them on a sustainable basis - look at Vogue, or GHK or Time, good for years and years and years, as long as the audience keeps up with the advertisers changing needs. This means invest in edit not bleed it! This means invest in readers who are in the target group and will come back for the length of time you need, not the necessarily the cheapest path.

4. Build a profit model which is stable, not one based on flipping the company every 2 or 3 years.

Over the 100+ years of some of the titles I have worked on (mostly privately owned) we had good years and bad years, but we never messed with the core edit or audience, and guess what, they are still around and still have good years. I would hope that advertisers and agencies are after the same thing, but sometimes you have to wonder.
(Submitted by a Senior Distribution Consultant)

Re: BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Death Spirals? Jobs, Printers, and PR

Both Publishers and printers have done disservice to the world of words. Neither one of us realized that we were in the same business. Delivering Content. We became adversarial and we allowed outsiders (accounting type people) to marginalize a creative and interpersonal business.

Yes, profit is very important. Yes, readership is important. But what we allowed to occur in our business is allow profiteers to think that they could increase profitability to commoditize the industry. We took pennies and nickels off the printers table and we eliminated the partnering that has been going on forever. We eliminated competition in print and paper.

We did not look at technology as the initiative to get our content to the readership (only happening now).

Now we are all struggling to survive. What a mess.
(Submitted by a Printer)

Re: BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Death Spirals? Jobs, Printers, and PR

I thought the comment, from a printer, that prices are set just like the airline industry, by the stupidest competitor was very naive. It's no accident that the most consistently profitable airline in the U.S. is Southwest, which has the lowest prices because they have better and more rational costs than any of their competitors. It's amazing how many people believe that lower prices are always the cause of various ills. When you have superior costs to your competitors, it can be a tremendously effective weapon that can be used against them. It's no accident that Southwest, AirTran and Europe's RyanAir are the only airlines that are surviving profitably, and growing.

It's also the case that prices are always out of control of management; marketplaces always determine whether or not the prices management sets make sense. The only thing management can control is its costs and how those costs are constructed to deliver a product that prospective customers will find of interest.

Whether or not a competitor is viewed as stupid has consistently been the view of the old guard whose old costs are constructed in such a way that they cannot respond to new competitive threats.
(Submitted by an Industry Consultant)

Re: Stora Enso sells its North American paper operations to NewPage

Translation of Stora Enso CEO's statement: "The paper business stinks, we found a private investment group willing to buy us with other people's money, so we're folding and cashing in our chips. Thanks for the memories, good bye and good luck".
(Submitted by a Senior Director of Manufacturing and Distribution)

Re: Stora Enso sells its North American paper operations to NewPage
remember, newpage is the co with the request for paper tariffs against china.
newpage is owned by cerberus. it's chaired by former treasury secy john snow
if china is hurting their business so much, how'd they'd get the money? :)
in my mind the china thing is an attempt to hold on long enough despite their incredible debt load to make an ipo. can this pass antitrust muster? i would assume so
(Submitted by an Industry Analyst)

Stora Enso North American Market Report.

bob- it's an interesting sign when paper companies start sending their literature out via e-mail!
(Submitted by a Senior Director of Manufacturing)

Re: Americans giving up friends, sex for Web life

From 8:45am to 8pm I live in cyber space. That leaves twelve hrs. and fifteen minutes for the bedroom. I guarantee one can strike a balance!
(Submitted by a Production Manager)

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