Jan. 26, 2012

Publishing News

Forbes: New Journalist Payment Model Will Serve Readers
Forbes Media extending audience performance-based pay/incentive system (started with digital contributors) to digital staff and print freelancers. Chief product officer Lewis DVorkin describes as “high quality, scalable and efficient model” enabling Forbes to provide readers with more extensive, in-depth coverage. 

PBAA Board Appoints Taunton’s Jay Annis as President itle
Annis, VP, trade sales-magazines and books for Taunton Press, stresses PBAA’s role in helping publishers strategize with distribution, retail partners during “crossroads” period. Other 2011-2012 PBAA offers are EVP Chris Moody (Consumer Reports); VP Dick Terlaak-Poot (Rodale); VP Marcia Orovitz (AIM); and VP Joe Gallo (PBAA’s immediate past president). 

U.K.’s Future Publishing Reports on iTunes Newsstand Results Thus Far
Company has sold 75K subs and realized $1 million total (40% of orders are subs) since launching tablet editions of 65 titles on Newsstand on Sept. 12, reports tablet editor-in-chief Mike Goldsmith. However, many of the subs are short-term and low-priced, so long-term trends remain to be seen. Other stats also offered.

Opinion: Might U.K.’s ‘Partworks’ Newsstand Tactic Be Worth a Look?
Wide range of U.K. titles offer serialized polybagged premiums with issues (consumer must buy all issues to collect all pieces of a model or other offering). Tactic not logistically feasible for mainstream newsstand, but perhaps worth investigating for publisher direct sales, writes newsstand consultant Linda Ruth. 

Panel Discusses Circulation Outsourcing
In FMA discussion, Wendy Frank, consumer marketing director for Forbes Media, concurred with execs from two outsourcing firms (ProCirc president Cary Zel and Circulation Specialist, Inc. president Greg Wolfe) that one advantage of outsourcing is in specialized areas (agency business, modeling etc.), providing expertise and a perspective from work with multiple clients where a full-time staff person would not be cost-effective. Other pros explored, and cons/potential downsides noted by non-panelist consumer marketers interviewed by AD.   

Bloomberg LP Staffers Reportedly Grumbling About Bonuses
Said to have expected larger 2011 bonuses, given 10.5% increase in company’s revenue. Businessweek publisher says  sales targets tied to incentives were not met.
Marketing Firm 33Across Aims for Publishers with Tynt Acquisition
“Social graph” marketer 33Across has acquired Tynt Multimedia. Tynt’s free tool set is used by 500,000 publishers to track the content actions, social sharing and keyword activity of users. 33Across’s social graph includes 200 million+ users. Used by 350 brands to graph brands’ social activity, better target marketing.

Mediaspectrum’s Adrenalin 2.0 Offers Enhancements
Cloud computing platform Mediaspectrum’s Adrenalin 2.0 release, which enables publishers to create custom apps integrated with advertising, sub systems, now supports Android as well as iOS, and has enhanced analytics. 

New iPad-Only Style Magazine Employing Custom App Builder
JNSQ, independent title to be published monthly, from former Beauty.com marketing manager Melissa Middleton, hired a former Amazon employee to create a custom CMS system enabling easy in-house building of iPad magazines. 

Hallmark Channel Replacing ‘The Martha Stewart Show’
Channel in discussions with Marie Osmond for new daily show; change in part due to MS show’s high production costs, reports NY Post. But MSLO still in discussions with Hallmark regarding other shows it produces for the channel, such as “Martha Bakes” and “Emeril.” 

Retail News

Economy: Fed Updates Forecast
Expects economy to grow 2.2%-2.7% in 2012 (down from November’s 2.5%-2.9% projection), but expects unemployment to decline to as low as 8.2%. Will maintain interest rates at near-zero through 2014.  

Court Approves A&P Exit Financing
Approval of $750 million enables A&P to operate as privately-held company after exiting Chapter 11, possibly as early as next month. 

Roundy’s Reportedly Seeking $800 Million to Refinance Debt
Milwaukee-based retailer will ask lenders for $675 million in term loans due in 2019 and a $125-million revolving line of credit maturing in 2017, reported Bloomberg (no comment from Roundy’s). Recent IPO filing, which would raise at least $230 million, still pending SEC response, reports SN. 
Neal Berube Now Chief Exec at Associated Food Stores
Berube is 22-year veteran of the $2 billion grocery cooperative, which supplies 400 independent stores. 

Wal-Mart Shifts Greeters; Opens Second Chicago Supercenter
Wal-Mart is taking greeters off its overnight shift and moving them to other jobs to ensure right staffing levels in peak/non-peak periods and save money. Separately, W-M opened 157,000-sq.-ft. supercenter in Chicago’s Chatham Market shopping center. Brings W-M’s total Chicago locations to five.

Bloomberg (greeters)
Progressive Grocer  (supercenter)

Kroger Renegotiates Credit Facility
Has amended and restated a $2 billion revolving credit facility with 24 financial institutions, originally negotiated in Nov. 2010. 

Barnes & Noble: Readers Favor a Mix of Print, Digital 
Customers typically order substantial amount of digital content in first few months of e-reader ownership, but many return to bookstores to browse and buy print titles, resulting over time in a “stabilized” print/digital purchasing mix, reports VP e-books president Jim Hilt. 

Deal With Houghton Mifflin Harcourt May Solve Amazon’s B&N Problem
Under licensing deal, HMH has rights to publish print versions of all adults titles from Amazon Publishing’s New York-based division, and distribute them everywhere in North America except on Amazon.com. Deal may enable Amazon, which holds to offering its e-books exclusively on its own site, to work around Barnes & Noble’s stance that it will not carry any print books in its stores unless it can also sell their e-book versions. But B&N could refuse to play ball. Separately, Businessweek reports that Larry Kirshbaum, once the “ultimate book industry insider,” has become “reviled” by big publishers since he became head of growing competitor Amazon Publishing.  
PaidContent  (Houghton deal)
Businessweek  (Kirshbaum) 

Wakefern to Supply Food Bazaar
Under wholesale agreement, Wakefern Food Corp. to supply ShopRite private-label line and other food and nonfoods product to the 16-store Food Bazaar chain in the NYC area. 

Food Lion Completing CAO Rollout
Implementation of computer-assisted ordering system from SAF nearly complete in all 1,500 stores. 

CGT, RIS News Release Reports
Consumer Goods Technology has released 2011 retailer/manufacturer Shared Strategy Report. In addition, it has new reports on Trade Spending Trends; In-Store Merchandising Measurement (including smartphone/tablet applications); and Product Data Management/Synchronization. RIS News has new report on retailers’ adoption of tablets. See below for report download links. 

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