Monday, August 20, 2007

BoSacks Speaks Out: Bringing Down the House of Reiman

BoSacks Speaks Out: This is a right on target article by Samir Husni, that also gives me the opportunity to tell you that he and I are once again putting on the verbal boxing gloves this week, to debate your future. That is correct. It is a point-counterpoint presentation on the future of print and how it will affect the distribution channels of magazines! It is the Keynote Session titled - Paper vs. Pixel.

This is a terrific and ongoing debate/discussion/assessment of our industry and where we see it headed.

There are some industry trends and business models that Samir and I agree upon and some where you will find us in dramatically and diametrically opposite camps. Either way you take it, this slug fest has received nothing but rave reviews by all attendees across the nation. If you are in Florida, you should make every attempt to be there. We may be the ones on stage, but we are talking about you and your career.

We will be at the Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel in Orlando this Thursday, August 23, at 4 PM at the Florida Magazine Association's annual Conference. (PDF of Poster)

"Don't take the wrong side of an argument just because your opponent has taken the right side." (Bo) Baltasar Gracian (Spanish Philosopher and Writer, leading Spanish exponent of conceptism, 1601-1658)

Bringing down the house of Reiman . . . one "ripple" at a time
Posted by Samir Husni

In the age of mergers and acquisitions, promises are rarely kept and previous owners/founders usually live to see the day that their babies lose their DNA and the original parents end up disowning the products emotionally after they have disowned them financially.

Reader's Digest Association is a good example. RDA bought Reiman Publications (Country, Taste of Home, etc.) in 2002. (RDA paid $760 million for Reiman Publications; click here to order the book that tells the whole story of the sale, the history of Reiman's "no ad" approach and more.)

The changes in the company started from that point on, with redesigns and repositioning of several of the titles. That was attempted to force growth, but it didn't work. Then Ripplewood Holdings bought RDA, taking over in early 2007, and began accelerating the changes even more.

Now, according to sources knowledgeable with what Ripplewood is doing, the process of de-branding of Reiman Publications has started . . . and started big time.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on June 19 that Ripplewood renamed Reiman Publications. It's now RDA Milwaukee. "Reiman as an entity is going to go away," company President Barbara Newton told the paper shortly before she lost her job.
According to my sources the RDA release reflected the fact that "Reiman is not a known brand. The brand is in the magazine names."

So how is Ripplewood changing the Reiman brand? Well let me count the ways:

1. No leadership in Greendale, home of Reiman Publications:
Ripplewood terminated Barb Newton, Reiman Publications president, after deciding they don't need a President in Greendale anymore, that they can run the whole thing from New York! So they now have nearly 500 people nearly a thousand miles away without a direct "leader". However, RDA spokesman William Alder told the Journal Sentinel that this change represents "a re-upping of the commitment to work with the folks there (in Greendale)."

2. The end of the "No Advertising" model:
Reiman Publications created one of the most successful magazine publishing models ever-one that was strictly dependent on circulation revenues. When RDA bought it, the company was extremely profitable. It published 13 national titles reaching more than 16 million paid subscribers . . . without a single advertisement.

Now, Ripplewood has decided to remove that unique aspect; it has started carrying advertising. The first ad brought in $60,000 for the Select Comfort Bed ad that's included in the current issue of five of the company's magazines-Country, Birds & Blooms, Backyard Living, Reminisce and Farm & Ranch Living.

One of my sources feels that $60,000 ad will cost the company more than $6 million in renewals. Why? Because the no-ad approach was-more than anything else-the one thing that made the magazines "different".

It was by far the magazines' most talked-about element over the years. Now, with the removal of that unique element, this source believes renewals will drop off so fast that what started out as a Ripple will end up being a title wave!

Amazingly, the Ripplewood folks don't feel the "no advertising" approach is essential to their success. In fact, their reaction to this unique approach of publishing is "utter disbelief that Reiman Publications has had this huge circulation and hasn't bothered to sell advertising up till now," a reliable source told me.

3. Readers are no longer the number one customer:
According to my sources, the Reiman Publications' empire that was built on reader input is now heading toward a complete U-turn. In fact, an internal e-mail from one of the RDA managers last winter stated, "I don't care what the reader wants . . . this is what I want!"

That's not far from reflecting the current feeling at Ripplewood. One of its managers recently stated, "We need to turn over this circulation base anyway; we need to attract a much younger, more vibrant audience."

In short, "the magazines just haven't been the same for more than a year. And now with the inclusion of ads, they're really not going to be the same," my source said.

Am I surprised? NO. Why not? Well, the top 14 people who were in charge of Reiman Publications are no longer employed at Reader's Digest Association. So, since most of these top people have been replaced by RDA's chosen people . . . didn't RDA pay all that money to buy themselves?

A final thought, a wise person summed for me this whole process of mergers and acquisitions as follows:

"The bottom line is this: Small companies do things that benefit the customer. Corporations do things that benefit the stockholders. Small companies think long-term. Corporations think short-term, as in quarterly reports. Small companies really get to KNOW their customers to sustain growth. Corporations aren't much interested in getting to know the customers and concentrate on maintaining growth through what they learned works for other audiences."

Publishers' Reliance on Verified Circ Rises; Disappoints Buyers

Publishers' Reliance on Verified Circ Rises; Disappoints Buyers
BY Lucia Moses

ABC Fas-Fax report shows publishers' reliance on verified circ grows, despite risks of alienating buyers in spite of controversy surrounding verified circulation, OR public- place copies, publishers haven't stopped using it to pump up their numbers. A year after verified became its own circ category, those magazines most often distributed in doctors' offices and hair salons are on the rise.

A total of 230 titles reported distributing verified copies in the first half of 2007, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. That's level with the first half of 2006, when 229 titles reported using verified. But the total number of verified copies has gone up. In the first half of this year, verified copies equaled 13.6 million, or 3.8 percent of total paid and verified circulation. In the first half of '06, verified equaled 13.4 million copies, or 3.5 percent of total paid and verified.

The Audit Bureau created the category of unpaid public-place for the reporting period covering the first half of 2006. Since media buyers began scrutinizing the numbers, they have taken publishers to task for using verified to make rate base and, in some cases, for making dramatic increases of verified copies.

An analysis of ABC's first-half 2007 Fas-Fax, out last week, showed those practices continuing at a number of major titles.

Among titles getting media buyer attention are Bonnier Corp.'s Ski and Skiing, where more than half of total paid and verified circ was verified in the first-half '07. Both reported upticks in verified of 24 percent and 54 percent, respectively, versus a year ago. Group publisher James Pentz said verified or sponsored copies have always been a big part of circ, but that verified recently spiked to replace copies lost as the titles reduce their reliance on subscription agents.

Another heavy user of public-place was Disney Publishing Worldwide's FamilyFun, where verified, at 401,370, was a whopping 20 percent of the 2 million rate base.

Sean O'Connell, consumer marketing director, Disney Publishing's U.S. consumer magazines, defended the copies as a way to reach moms: "It's efficient distribution, it's highly targeted and it helps us capture additional subscribers through insert cards."

At Time Inc.'s Southern Living, verified jumped 40 percent to 121,771 over the year-ago period, pulling the title along to make its 2.8 million rate base in the first half of 2007. Publisher Rich Smyth said verified was tapped to offset low newsstand sales, while noting that verified still met his goal of being below 5 percent of total circ. "Verified is nothing to be ashamed of," he said. "In this case, it's very, very good circ."

In some cases, a change in circulation sources caused an increase in the verified column. At Time Inc.'s Money, verified copies shot up to 214,760 from 20,866 a year ago, which a representative said reflected a corresponding decrease in the number of sponsored and loyalty copies from a year ago.

Publishers stand by verified as a bona fide audience-building tool, but in a survey by TNS for OMD, less than one-third of public-place locations said the freebies they get were a good fit with their locations. The survey was conducted in early 2007 at 150 doctor's offices and hair/beauty salons.

Recently, the Audit Bureau board tightened its verified rules to prevent what some see as abusive uses of the category. Starting Jan. 1, 2008, magazines may no longer count back copies. It also decided that if a publisher reports as verified an issue to a location or individual, it must disclose as verified subsequent issues it serves to that location or individual for the length of the verified subscription term.

In the meantime, media buyers said they would be questioning publishers that had big increases in verified circ. Jack Hanrahan, U.S. print director, OMD, and member of the ABC magazine buyers' advisory committee, said he would steer clients away from titles with unhealthy verified practices, such as using it excessively and to make rate base.

Brenda White, vp, director of print investment, Starcom USA, and chair of the buyers' committee, said in some cases, she would recommend clients not pay for verified. "There's no question, I am concerned about the use of verified in light of the numbers going up," she said. "I don't want to see a lot of it, and I don't want to see it make your rate base."

Publishers May Give in and Guarantee Rate Base by Issue

Publishers May Give in and Guarantee Rate Base by Issue
Some Still Say MediaVest Request Is 'Untenable,' Will Continue Using Average
By Nat Ives

NEW YORK ( -- There's a few months to go before MediaVest's stare-down with the magazine industry hits a critical juncture, but it looks as if some publishers are starting to blink.

In May the media buyer demanded that publishers guarantee each issue's circulation instead of averaging multiple issues like usual -- and said it would pull clients' ads from magazines that don't go along by 2008. Because of the highly competitive nature of ad buying, the response from both publishers and other agencies has been dissonant. Most publishers wouldn't discuss the topic publicly, partly because no one wants buyers to know the terms other buyers are getting. But the sometimes-touchy talks still suggest that the unpopular push is finding traction.

Private talk with Men's Health
Men's Health actually agreed last year, according to Publisher Jack Essig. That's when Robin Steinberg, senior VP-director of MediaVest print investment and activation, first asked him in private. "We're also trying to get her to pay when we overdeliver," he said. "But Men's Health would do it for any media buyer."

Other publishers have dismissed the idea. "Penalties for underdelivery without bonuses for overdelivery is untenable," one said, repeating a common refrain.

The conflict is part of the broader issue of how best to measure magazines, which are under pressure from rising costs and new competitors. Media buyers want publishers to report sales more frequently than the customary twice a year. But the tool designed to help, ABC Rapid Report, from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, is still struggling for mass after a year in operation. American Media, publisher of titles including Star and Shape, recently quit the tool because its competitors weren't participating and thus had gained an intelligence advantage.

However, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., whose magazines include Elle and Woman's Day, said last month it would put all its titles in Rapid Report.

But Hachette is tacking the other way on issue-specific guarantees. After experimenting with the idea at two magazines, the company is instead adopting guarantees averaged across the issues in which advertisers buy space. It's unclear whether there will be room for negotiation.

Not all buyers united
Media buyers at agencies other than MediaVest seem as mixed on the question as publishers. "This is nothing more than MediaVest negotiating in the press while there are more pressing, burning issues we as an industry should be concentrating on -- such as retaining readers," one buyer said. But he said he has warned publishers he'll go back and demand issue-specific make-goods if he finds out they've guaranteed individual issues for other agencies.

It's lucky for publishers, then, that he was skeptical of a competitor's claim to have long received those guarantees. Beth Fidoten, senior VP-director of print services at Initiative, said the agency has sought and received issue-specific promises for five years.

"The six-month average is really a thing of the past," Ms. Fidoten said. "That's from a day when schedules were planned for the entire year and often had continuity for the entire year. Since that's not how media is planned and bought anymore, it's really important that an advertiser is guaranteed circulation for every issue they're in."

Many publishers have called new guarantees unnecessary because their magazines miss rate base only rarely and barely. MediaVest, however, has proved more concerned about protecting against dubious circulation practices -- such as increasing waiting-room copies and other "verified" circulation to make up for previous or anticipated shortfalls.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cause or Effect?

Cause or Effect?
By Peter Hutchinson
Bo-Sacks Cub Reporter

Books, schools, and newspapers are become too much neglected, and of consequence the rising generation will be great sufferers thereby if these necessary things, which tend to learning, are not more encouraged.

-Isaiah Thomas, publisher and printing historian, 1780
I was in the library the other day, and stumbled across some figures that set me thinking along broad and, as usual, unremunerative lines.

If you're as easily distracted by interesting media statistics as I am, here they come.

First data point: Between the end of World War II and 1980, the total number of daily newspapers in the United States remained virtually constant at around 1,750. Then in 1981 the number began to drop. By 1990, there were 1,611 American dailies. As of 2006 there were 1,437.

Second data point: Combined circulations of all the daily newspapers in the United States reached 62 million in the mid-1960s, then stopped growing. Beginning in 1990, circulations started to decline, down to 52.3 million in 2006.

Third data point: Advertising revenues in American dailies were $32.3 billion in 1990. They climbed to $48.7 billion in 2000, and then settled back to an estimated $45 billion or so in 2006.

In short, the newspaper business has experienced an 11 percent decline in the number of dailies, a 16 percent decline in circulation, and a 47 percent increase in advertising revenue since 1990. The consolidation and readership trends were identifiable well before 1990, however.

This all raises a kind of "Where's Waldo?" question, with the Internet playing the role of Waldo.

If reduction in the number of daily newspapers dates back to 1980 . . . if newspaper circulations stopped growing in the '60s . . . and if newspaper ad revenues are relatively steady despite consolidation and the challenge of maintaining readership . . . how much of the change is attributable to the Internet and how much to other factors? What exactly do the trends reflect?

We might observe, as Isaiah Thomas did in 1780, that newspapers "are become too much neglected"-that fewer papers are published today than in 1980 and that fewer people buy them. We can also observe that newspaper publishers have raised rates and CPMs more or less in the teeth of the audience trends.

But we can't really say that the Internet, which didn't have a major presence in American media until the mid-1990s, is the causative force behind any of these newspaper trends. For sure, it's been a compounding factor-given the Web's brisk growth in the past five or six years, it would be nuts to think otherwise. Nevertheless, the Internet didn't create conditions that date back to the '80s in the case of newspaper consolidation and to the '60s in the case of circulation decline.

It may not be a coincidence that the fall-off in the number of daily newspapers coincides with the widespread emergence of cable television in the 1980s, and that the circulation of daily newspapers peaked at a time when broadcast television was beginning to attain unassailable reach-as Life, Look, and the Saturday Evening Post learned the hard way when they tried to compete toe-to-toe with TV.

Apparently, when they're given a choice, Americans "like to watch," as Chauncey Gardner put it. In other words, we seem to spend increasingly more time in front of screens than we spend with paper. This isn't necessarily because we believe there's less intrinsic value in print. We may simply accept the news from whatever device we're already sitting in front of-TVs in our living rooms and bedrooms, and computers in our offices and laps.

Which is a shame, because reading a newspaper-even a bad one-provides a broader, more insightful, and deeper view of the news than anything a TV network, commercial radio station, or Web site is likely to serve up. It's a richer experience . . . but you have to make time for it.

Media compete with other options Americans have to fill their time, including hobbies, sports, games, recreation, education, worship, conversation, and stuff like work, eating, and sleep. Newspapers began to lose out when Americans started to budget their time differently . . . which is another way of saying that our priorities have shifted.
Ever since Sputnik, we've heard that Americans are growing less intelligent; that our schools are failing our children; that students in other countries know more math, science, geography, or whatnot; that important test scores are declining. We've responded by demanding that schools teach self-esteem, improve fitness, stay up to the minute with computer technology, build winning sports teams, keep kids off drugs, and leave no child behind in the process.

Unfortunately, we don't seem to hold schools accountable for the skills of thinking critically and communicating clearly, two qualities that characterize more involved, less passive media consumers.

There may be a link between Americans' choice of passive viewing over active reading and what we're emphasizing in our schools . . . which leads us back to the newspaper business. When television established itself as the medium of dominant reach, newspaper circulation stopped growing. As cable TV took off, the number of newspapers began to shrink. And as the personal computer became increasingly ubiquitous at work and at home, newspaper readership began to decline. It wasn't the Internet that caused these phenomena-they predate the Internet.

More and more people chose to spend their time in front of television sets-and the emergence of cable technology was the next logical step. More and more people chose to spend their time in front of computers-and the emergence of large-scale networking was the next logical step.

If the Internet is a consequence of the arrival of a computer on every desk, maybe the current state of the newspaper business is simply another consequence of the same event.

It's undeniable that the emergence of the Internet is a disruptive force in the newspaper business. But looking at the numbers and the dates, I can't help wondering whether the Net is a cause of publishers' troubles-or an effect.

I'll let the question dangle.

This Commentator's Media Glass Is Half Full (but Won't Be for Long)

This Commentator's Media Glass Is Half Full (but Won't Be for Long)
Why Be Optimistic? TimesSelect Is Grounded, HBO Is Soaring and Jim Cramer Is Taking on the Fed
By Simon Dumenco

Hope springs eternal? Not in my line of work. You'd be hard pressed to find any media critic anywhere who isn't filled (more or less appropriately) with despair much of the time. Still, there really are reasons, now and then, to be a cheerful media person. Even in the dog days of August, hope springs occasional(ly). To wit:

The end of TimesSelect
The coming demise of The New York Times' boneheaded premium-online-content service, TimesSelect, which locked some of the paper's most interesting writers away from the internet conversation, shows that Times management can actually learn from its mistakes.

Life after Tony
With the 800-pound gorilla of its former flagship series "The Sopranos" no longer sucking all the air out of the room, HBO is showing signs of reaching new creative peaks. Its established franchises are better than ever (the recent "Entourage" episode guest-starring Mary J. Blige was an instant classic, while "Big Love" has been heating up big time in its second season). And the quirky, lovable and very funny "Flight of the Conchords" is my favorite new comedy of the year. Sure, David Milch's "John from Cincinnati" is a dud, but it just wrapped its first (and probably only) season, and HBO's big September -- with the return of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," the debut of the explicit, envelope-pushing drama "Tell Me You Love Me," and a concert special that captures the spectacular showmanship of pop savant Justin Timberlake -- will quickly eliminate any memory of that stumble (not to mention the scandalous departure of HBO chief Chris Albrecht earlier this year).

Martha's resurgent mags
Ad pages are (deservedly) up at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia magazines Martha Stewart Living, Everyday Food, and the excellent new(ish) Blueprint -- and Blueprint will be kicking up its rate base to 450,000 next year. I've harshed on Martha herself in this column in the past, but you can't take away from her the fact that her company puts out brilliantly produced magazines that make passionate connections with their readers.

Homeric wisdom
In my last column, I suggested that Wall Street Journal Publisher L. Gordon Crovitz might be a little, uh, uncomfortable about some of his new News Corp. colleagues. Well, Crovitz begs to differ. He e-mailed to say that he takes specific issue with my assertion that he's "the sort of person who would not be comfortable working alongside Homer Simpson. That's crazy. For many years, I have kept a miniature Homer and son Bart in my desk drawer to call on for management advice and inspiration. Indeed, I must turn to the wisdom of Homer himself to find the right words of response: 'You couldn't fool your own mother on the foolingest day of your life with an electrified fooling machine!'" I stand corrected, Gordon! And now, given that I know that you rely on Homeric wisdom, I'm newly optimistic about the Journal.

Mad Cramer!
The unlikeliest YouTube hit of the summer is a three-minute snippet that shows CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer trashing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for not lowering interest rates to address the subprime-mortgage crisis. Various bloggers have joked about Jim (full disclosure: He's an old friend of mine; I edited his "Bottom Line" column at New York magazine) losing his marbles, but he happens to be exactly right. The YouTube clip of Jim speaking truth to power -- complacent, clueless power -- has racked up a million views so far. More importantly, you can be sure that Jim's loud, angry words are reverberating through Washington.

Understanding the Crazy Magazine Newsstand Sales Market

Understanding the Crazy Magazine Newsstand Sales Market
By Baird Davis

Rumors were circulating last week that the newsstand sales of People magazine would be down over 5 percent. This sent pangs of anxiety through the fragile magazine industry. Had the big newsstand sales slide begun? Sure enough People's sales revenue was down 6.1 percent. But this time the sales of the industry bellwether didn't reflect industry sales as a whole.

Based on initial ABC and BPA supplied data, it's estimated (subject to revision when final audit bureau data is provided later this month) that the unit sales of audited publications were up .1 percent to nearly 456 million and revenue rose .8 percent to about $1.56 billion. This was tepid performance, but far from Armageddon.

In spite of People's sales dip, celebrity fascination continues to drive the newsstand market. The celebrity category that People spawned over 30 years ago continues to expand. Yes, the sales revenue of People (-6.1 percent), Us (-3.4 percent) and Star (-3.5 percent) were down. But the sales of the other celebrity titles-In Touch (+14.6 percent), Life & Style (+9.4 percent) and the British bred upstart Ok! weekly-lifted the sales in the six title celebrity category-unit sales rose 8.3 percent and revenue was up 7.5 percent.

The two audited tabloid publications (National Enquire, Globe) that round out the celebrity genre, exhibited slower sales-down 1.2 percent in revenue. However, the aggregate revenue of these eight publications rose 5.9 percent and accounted for nearly $507 million in sales-almost 33 percent of the total for all audited publications sold at the newsstand.

Britney, Brad, Angelina and their ilk continue to dominate the unruly newsstand market. Their success leaves little room for other titles to flourish. Exclusive of the eight titles devoted to celebrity coverage, the sales of the others (over 500 titles) experienced a slight unit sales decline of 2.8 percent and a revenue fall of 1 percent. This performance is similar to what has transpired in recent years-celebrity titles rising and the rest of the market in decline.

What's Causing This Erratic Market Behavior?

The newsstand market has been described as being as dysfunctional as the Simpson family. Some say it's headed for a sub-prime-like meltdown. That might be going too far, but clearly it's only a market that Tony Soprano's psychiatrist can love. Perhaps it can only be described in abstract terms. Below, in a typically obtuse newsstand manner, are the answers to 10 questions that may help describe the reasons for the market's strange behavior.

1. Largest Selling Digest Sized Publication?

No it's not Reader's Digest. It's now Prevention, the venerable Rodale publication whose sales were up 32 percent in this period.

2. Can We Find Redemption with Rachael and Paula?

Rachael Ray and Paula Deen bucked the celebrity trend (or you might say they're now celebrities themselves) by launching their titles in the hotly competitive checkout arena. The sales success of their publications speaks to the inherent resiliency of the newsstand market.

3. The Highest Priced Audited Title?

Hint-it's not a Bauer publication. It's Harvard Business Review. At $16.95, it's priced significantly higher than any other audited consumer title. Its sales revenue ($2.9 million) exceeded all monthly frequency business publications in this period.

4. Is Diesel Fuel Good for the Industry?

Forget about ethanol. Wholesalers and their delivery trucks live on diesel fuel. Enthusiast Media's new publication, Diesel Power, made its debut this period selling 88,000 per issue. It produced more revenue, other than market leader Truckin', than any specialty auto publication.

5. Is There Room in the Market for a Swedish Contingency?

Bonnier, a Swedish media giant, surprised all with their purchase of many of Time, Inc.'s specialty titles. This puts them squarely on the U.S. newsstand map. They now publish 24 audited titles and rank 17th in newsstand revenue among all publishing companies, with nearly $13 million in sales revenue in the first half of 2007.

6. Are the British in Partial Retreat?

Emap closed the door on FHM, a publication that not so long ago sold more than 400,000 copies per issue. Flex Dennis, no shrinking violet, is about to complete a sale for his laddie laden publications to a Kent Brownridge led group of investors. Still, the British remain a presence on our shores with the Northern & Shell's Ok! weekly and, of course, the fabulously successful British hybrid, The Economist.

7. The Most Profitable Publication Sold at Barnes & Noble?

Hint-it's not People or any other celebrity title. It's not Time or Newsweek either. It's the aforementioned Economist. They have used the power of a comfortable reading environment to their advantage to lift their sales revenue to record levels. In this period their sales rose to $9.5 million, up 39 percent, a level that surely has Time and Newsweek attention.

8. Publishing Company with Highest Newsstand Revenue?

If you guessed Time, Inc. ($218 million in this period) you are right, but not by much. Its newsstand revenue declined 10 percent, largely because of its sale of specialty titles to Bonnier. At the other end of the spectrum, Bauer's sales continued to grow-up 6.6 percent to $215 million. Bauer is now within very close shouting range of Time, Inc.'s newsstand sales lead. If recent history is a guide, they might pass them by the end of the year. How about some applause for Germany efficiency!

9. Can Cover Price be Reduced and Revenue Increase?

There's an industry rule of thumb that reducing cover price is analogous to closing the barn door after the horse has departed. But there are always rule exceptions. In this case it's Seventeen. When Hearst purchased this title several years ago, they reduced the cover price to $2.99. Since then this title has begun to recapture its newsstand glory. In this period its sales revenue was up 8.2 percent. Once again they are the teen category newsstand sales leader.

10. Which Company Has Greater Newsstand Revenue-Conde Nast or Wenner?

Conde may have 23 audited newsstand sold publications in their stable and Wenner only three, but Wenner's sales revenue (over $97 million) was slightly greater than Conde's in this period. The difference? Wenner has a successful celebrity weekly, Conde doesn't.

What do digest format, cover pricing, foreign influence, exciting new publications, bookstores and weekly publications tell us about the market?

They tell us that the market is internationally diverse, it's weekly driven, it allows for various cover pricing options, it embraces new product and bookstores (and by inference other specialty retailers), provides strong venues for publications with more limited audience appeal.

The newsstand market is amazing in its resiliency and as a barometer for evaluating product appeal. But the market has fallen far short of its sales potential. The age old conflicts of interest that dominate retailer, wholesaler, national distributor and publisher relationships have thwarted sales. These conflicts of interest must be resolved if the newsstand market is to reach its full potential. Why not start the resolution process right now?