The cost-cutting war pitting magazine publishers against wholesale distributors is about to claim its first major casualty: Wal-Marts nationwide may soon be without consumer magazines unless a solution is found--fast.
The impending disappearance of magazines at the nation's largest retailer is due to an attempt to change the cost structure of distribution by Anderson News, the largest U.S. magazine wholesaler. The move to scan-based trading would put a much larger share of the cost burden on publishers. Rather than buying bulk, retailers would only have to pay for the issues that they actually sell.
This idea so angered Time Warner (parent company of Time Inc.) that it threatened to cut Anderson off altogether--meaning that Wal-Mart and other retailers would lose flagship titles like Fortune, People, Sports Illustrated, Time and Vogue.
Loss of the nation's largest retailer as a distribution outlet would obviously be a huge blow to consumer magazines, and could hurt Wal-Mart, too. To avert this disastrous result, Time Warner has agreed to hold off another week, giving it time to negotiate with Anderson.
Many industry observers say Anderson's position has merit: by forcing publishers to bear the cost of unsold copies, it provides greater motivation to maximize newsstand sales.
Cosmopolitan Bows Mobile Web SiteCosmopolitan introduced a mobile Web site on Thursday, which can be accessed by logging on to M.cosmpolitan.com. Under the direction of Hearst Magazines Digital, its content includes a mix of playful and service features: the "Dude Decoder: the ultimate body language guide to find out what he's really thinking;" "100 Hot Cities: the fun places to play for Cosmo girls;" and "Cosmo Cocktails: recipes on the run." Potentially the most useful service: "Fake Calls: a service that calls your cell phone and provides you with excuses to get out of a bad date."
Spin and Slacker Team For Radio Project
Spin and Slacker, Inc. have created a special online audio station with songs mentioned in the October issue of Spin--a historical look back at "1977: The Year Punk Exploded." The collection of songs available for video and audio streaming will flesh out the print content, allowing readers to become listeners. The site also has cover art and artist profiles.
Televisa Launches Poder in Miami
On the fifth anniversary of its entry into the U.S. market, Poder is launching a regional edition focusing on Miami, publisher Televisa Publishing announced. The new regional edition will focus on business leaders, business strategies, finance, politics, culture and entertainment in the Miami area. Poder is produced by Televisa in partnership with Page One Media.
Nielsen Business Media Gets Tremblay
Nielsen Business Media has appointed Susan Tremblay as the director of business development for its marketing, media and arts group. The group includes Mediaweek, Brandweek, Adweek, Editor & Publisher and American Artist. Tremblay comes to Nielsen from her previous role as president of Creative Circle Advertising Solutions, a software company focused on developing revenue-boosting tech for media companies.