November 3, 2011

Publishing News

Senate Reaches Bipartisan Agreement on Postal Reform Bill 
USPS could receive a $7 billion overpayment it made into federal employee retirement system and use some of the funds to offer buyouts/incentives to reduce workforce by 100,000. MPA praised the bill. 
Government Executive (bill summary)

Source Interlink Media Acquires ATV Magazine; Partners With Yahoo on Livestand
SIM’s GrindMedia division has acquired ATV Magazine, and will fold it into ATV Rider Magazine. Separately, SIM is a partner for the launch of Yahoo’s Livestand, a digital newsstand app offering personalized automotive/action sports content. 
Source release (ATV acquisition)
Source release  (Yahoo/Livestand)

How American Media, Inc. Cut Production Costs by 50%
AMI exec details operational/platform steps enabling print cost savings and digital platform expansion for AMI and client publisher Playboy Enterprises.

Paul Jowdy Named Publisher of Women’s Wear Daily
Jowdy ended five-month stint as publisher of Every Day With Rachel Ray last week. 
Robb Report Launches iPad Subscription, Joins App Newsstand 
Adds annual sub option to single-issue iPad purchase option. Sub is $49.99 (free for current print subscribers). Also now on Apple’s Newsstand, in iOS5 format. 

Daily Beast Launches Online Video Channel 
Daily Beast TV to offer news commentary from Andrew Sullivan and other contributors. 

Hearst Magazine Execs Stress Print’s Primary Place Amid Digital Development
In DM News corporate profile, EVP John Loughlin notes domestic and international print expansion; circulation/database growth realized through honed, multichannel direct marketing.  

Harlequin’s Results Improve
Excluding impacts of foreign-exchange rates, N.A. and global sales were up in Q3. 

Retail News

Jobless Rate Declines, But Fed’s Projections Less Optimistic
Jobless claims fell 9,000 last week, to below 400,000, and nonfarm productivity rose at 3.1% annual rate between July and September (vs. flat to down in recent periods). But the Fed now projecting slower unemployment recovery: from 9.1% to 8.6% in late 2012, to 8% in 2013 and 6.8%-7.7% in 2014. Fed chair says progress rate unacceptable, calls on Congress, administration to implement initiatives to boost employment.   
WSJ (jobless claims, productivity)
WSJ  (Fed’s assessments)

October, Pre-Holiday Sales a “Mixed Bag”
October same-store sales are expected to show 4.5% growth for the 23 retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters, vs. 1.6% growth a year ago and 5.1% in September.

CVS Caremark’s Q3 Profits Up 7.3%
Pharmacy same store sales up 2.3%, front-of-store comps up 2%.  

Whole Foods Hits $10 Billion in Sales
In fiscal ending Sept. 25. Full-year net income up 39.4%, sales up 12.2%, comps up 8.4%. 
Supermarket News

Wal-Mart, P&G Top Kantar’s Annual PowerRankings itle
Top-performing retailers also include Target, Kroger, Costco, Publix, Wegmans, HEB, CVS, Walgreens and Safeway. Top-performing manufacturers include Kraft, General Mills, PepsiCo, Unilever, Nestle, Coca-Cola, ConAgra, Kellogg, Clorox. 

Supplier Earnings News
Kraft saw 22% profit rise in Q3 as result of higher prices/passing along input costs to retailers…Sara Lee swung into a Q1 loss despite higher sales (cites exchange rates, reclassification of N.A. food-services beverages as a discontinued operation)…Sara Lee also reports its coffee-unit spin-off should take place by April/May…Clorox Q1 earnings fell 40%, reflecting higher costs.
WSJ  (Kraft)
WSJ  (Sara Lee earnings)
Daily Herald (Sara Lee’s split)
WSJ (Clorox)

Amazon Launches Kindle Owners’ Book Lending Library; Google Launches Canadian eBookstore 
To access Kindle library, owners of the devices must pay $79 per year for an Amazon Prime membership. Separately, Google’s Canadian ebookstore platform offering titles stored online and accessible through a variety of devices.  
Wired (Kindle library)
The Globe and Mail (Google ebookstore)

Kroger Re-Signs With Distribution Services, Inc. for Front-End Reset
Kroger has signed a new front-end checkout reset agreement with AMI subsidiary DSI through December 2012, continuing a six-year relationship. 


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