Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Sells 16.6% Stake to J.C. Penney
For about $38.5 million, as part of 10-year deal including launch of mini Stewart products stores within chain, revamped online presence dedicated to MS brand starting in 2013. Penney also gets two MSLO board seats. Martha Stewart to make $200 million+ from deal; remains largest shareholder.
Reader’s Digest Association Cuts 30 Jobs in Wisconsin
Jobs cut across all departments at the former Reiman company in Greendale. Efficiency moves, sale of Greendale-based Worldwide Tours travel business cited. Still 250 employees at location, where RDA’s special-interest home/garden titles are based.
Meredith Makes Microsoft Tag Its 2D Barcode Standard
Across its entire magazine portfolio, effective 2012. Meredith has already used Tag in many of its publications to connect readers to variety of online, value-added content. Also lets advertisers incorporate branded graphics in tags. Separately, Better Homes & Gardens has launched a “Must-Have Recipes” app for iPhone, iPod touch.
Meredith release (Tag)
MediaPost (Meredith and other publishers’ 2D push)
Meredith release (BH&G app)
More 2D Barcode News: Shape’s Mobile Sweeps
Readers earned entries in sweeps by scanning Tag codes in November issue. 400,000 entries generated said to be a record for 2D barcode-based sweeps.
Black Ocean Buys Majority Stake in Hearst’s LMK App
Hearst launched app, which delivers news bites in user-specified categories, with minimal investment in March 2010. Hearst was selling apps for $0.99 to $1.99; digital media company Black Ocean will relaunch as free agg service in 2012. Reportedly bought 70% stake.
Amazon Expanding Into Children’s Book Publishing
Latest aggressive move into content publishing. Acquired 450 children’s titles orignally published by Marshall Cavendish.
E-Book Prices: U.S. Also Said to Be Investigating
U.S. Justice Dept., as well as EU antitrust authorities, reportedly in process of conducting a probe. Silicon Associates partner speculates government intervention could force publishers to lower prices in both U.S. and Europe.
Coated Paper Prices Expected to Fall in 2012
Due to surplus. Even supercalendered, currently in short supply, could see prices decline by mid 2012.
Microsoft to Take on Apple’s App Store
Microsoft’s Windows 8 software (test version to be released in February) will be launched with a store for companion apps, giving software developers larger cut than Apple, Google.
A&P Projects Renovation-Driven Sales Gains
Reorganization plan disclosure projects that revenues will grow in each of the next four years behind a $390 million program to renovate its 335 stores.
Success of Promotion Overwhelms Kroger
90,000 customers responded to a limited-time promotion offering merchandise discounts based on consumers’ spending–10X the number who responded last year. Kroger apologized for unexpected out-of-stocks and other inconveniences.
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE: