March 5, 2012

Publishing News

Source Interlink Distribution, Hudson News Announce Subcontracting Agreement
Source Interlink Distribution has agreed to become the subcontractor in certain service areas for Hudson News division Hudson Mid-Atlantic, SID announced this morning. Initially, SID will provide pick/pack, delivery, merchandising and returns processing for specific stores in specific chains in Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., Illinois and Indiana, effective with product on sale April 10, 2012. Detailed information will be provided to publishers, national distributors and retailers over the next couple of days, according to the release.

Conde Nast, Hearst Agree to “Pass-Through” RDA Pricing Policies
The New Single Copy reports that Comag Marketing Group’s two largest clients, Hearst Magazines and Conde Nast, have agreed to adopt “all-inclusive pricing policies,” wherein the retail display allowance (RDA) will be “passed through” to retailers. The RDA will be identified within line-item invoices to retailers. Start date not yet finalized. In addition, NSC reports that CMG has announced national distribution agreements with crafts enthusiast magazines publisher Interweave Press; photography title Blindfold Magazine; and Non-Linear Educating Inc., publisher of MPV Hub Audio. NSC also highlighted data from publisher Harrington Associates’ Magazine Retail Experience 2011, a report analyzing magazine-category retail performance for the year. The analysis, which uses MagNet’s wholesaler-sourced sales data (accounting for 99% of all sales) and adjusts slightly to reflect 100% of the market, shows 2011 total U.S./Canadian dollar sales at $3.73 billion (-9.9% vs. 2010), and unit sales at $796.4 million (-11.3%). Average cover price rose 1.6%, to $4.69; average sell-through was 32.9%, vs. 34.5% in 2010. More information on the report available on Harrington Associate’s site; link below. 
Publishers Share Some Results of Print/Digital Marketing Strategies
Time Inc., which includes tablet edition and online access as well as print in its “all access” subscriber model, recently pulled back on a Sports Illustrated price hike to $48 from $39 for the bundled package. But Nook digital-only SI subs are selling at $3.99 per month, or $48 per year, and Time magazine is so far sticking with hike to $30 from $20 for all-access package. Time Inc. reports 75% of subscribers who’ve tried tablet edition want both print and digital. Conde Nast, which also bundles, continues to aggressively test, including charging New Yorker print subscribers who’ve activated their digital access more for renewals. Hearst, which does not bundle print/digital, reports that 80% of its 600K paid monthly digital circ is digital-only subs; that many are new customers; and that many are paying $20+, vs. about $12 for print subs. 

Hearst, Time Inc. Testing Personalized Advertising Outserts 
Hearst Magazines is using new HP printing technology that enables faster, higher-quality personalized printing to include outserts (and/or inserts) with some issues. For instance, outsert on subscriber copies of March’s Harper’s Bazaar addresses subscribers by name and encourages them to visit identified Neiman Marcus stores within 50 miles of their homes. Time Inc.’s Targeted Media Inc. testing similar program, starting with personalized wraps on 2,000 copies of Fortune going to media buyers/marketers. 

Bloomberg Businessweek Launching iPhone App
App mirrors look, functionality of iPad app launched last April and newly relaunched Web site. 35% of the iPad edition’s audience is outside U.S. (vs. 8% of its overall readership), and BW expects iPhone edition’s global reach to be even greater. 

Fast Company App Hits Authentication Snags
iPad app, which launched on App Store last Thursday, has a bug preventing print subscribers from having their subs authenticated. Owner Mansueto Ventures has informed subscribers that an update fixing the glitch will be available quickly. 

Conde’s Ars Technica Site Gets Dedicated Advertising Staff
Advertising for the site for hard-core techies, acquired by Conde Nast in 2008, had up to now been sold by Wired’s sales staff.

More on Magazines Leveraging Pinterest
How Time Inc.’s Health and Hearst’s Country Living have turned Pinterest into top social media referral sites for the brands. 
Folio:  (Health)  (Country Living)

Rodale Partners with Arby’s on “Eat This, Not That” Menu
Arby’s restaurants nationwide are launching menu items (with 500 calories or fewer) tied in with Rodale’s “Eat This, Not That!” franchise, and approved by Rodale’s custom content group. No specifics on the business arrangement.  

Quad/Graphics Status Updates
After major cutbacks, the printer beat expectations for the year, but had a tough fourth quarter. 
Folio:  (full year)
DeadTreeEdition (Q4 and strategic focus)

Magazine Designer Amid Capeci Dies 
Capeci, who died last week at 50 from melanoma, redesigned Newsweek and was its design director prior to its 2010 merger with The Daily Beast. Career highlights also included his redesign of Rolling Stone in 2004. 
NY Times

Empire State Building Tribute for Hearst Corp.’s 125th Anniversary
The Empire State Building will be illuminated in “Hearst Blue” tonight. 

Newspaper Study Shows Harsh Reality
A Project for Excellence in Journalism analysis employing private financial data supplied by companies owning 121 newspapers shows that on average, for every new dollar earned in new digital ad revenue last year, they were losing $7 in print ad revenue.

Retail News

UFCW Files Charges Against Safeway, Giant-Landover
UFCW Local 400 has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the two retailers of violating worker rights during labor negotiations that have been ongoing since January. (Contracts covering about 16,300 workers in the Washington, D.C. area are set to expire March 31.) Union said the chains have told employees that they will post hiring notices for replacement workers in case there is a strike, adopted “draconian” social media policies that serve to limit employees’ commentary on social media sites, and asked employees to stop distributing pro-union business cards. Giant issued statement saying it’s not unusual to hire temporary workers in preparation for a strike, and that it continues to engage in good-faith negotiations with the union. Safeway couldn’t be reached for comment.

Wal-Mart Adds Challenge Harris Teeter
W-M is going after Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter with a tactic it is trying only in the Charlotte market: running ads featuring head-to-head price comparisons on a range of specific grocery items.

B&N Takes Sterling Publishing Off the Block; Weighs Nook’s Future
Offers received for Sterling were only one-quarter the $126M Barnes & Nobel paid for the publishing unit. B&N could decide on whether to spin off Nook business within 60 to 90 days; sentiment said to be favoring spin-off, say PW’s sources. 

SymphonyIRI Exec Leaves for Booz & Co.
Thomas J. Blischok is leaving his eight-year position as president of retail and global strategy and innovation at SymphonyIRI to join management consulting firm Booz & Co. Blischok will focus on the firm’s retail and CPG clients.  

Roundy’s Sales up 2% for Year
Retailer reported 2% net sales gains for both Q4 and full year. Net income up 6.6% for quarter, 4% for year. Same-store sales up 1.2% for quarter, 0.6% for year. Milwaukee-based grocery completed an IPO last month, raising $111.1M.

Twitter to Be Used for Food Safety Alerts
Starting the first week of this month, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service will use a series of state-specific Twitter feeds to more directly communicate with consumers who may be affected by food safety alerts.  

Walgreens’ Sales Up 1.5% in February
Total front-end sales increased 6.9%, and comp-store front-end sales increased 2%. However, total pharmacy sales decreased 1.4%, and comp-store pharmacy sales declined 8.6%. Comp-store pharmacy sales lost 10.6 percentage points due to Walgreens’ no longer being part of Express Scripts network. Generic drug introductions and lower incidences of colds and flu this winter also contributed.  

Shopko Expands with Completed Merger
GM retailers Shopko and Pamida have completed a merger that will create a $3B company serving largely rural communities in 22 states. Combined company will retain the Shopko name. Shopko chief Paul Jones will be president, chairman and CEO, while Pamida CEO John Harlow will serve on the leadership team and help direct the integration process. 

Cardinal Health’s Florida Center Can Distribute Controlled Drugs for Now
Following last Wednesday’s court judgment upholding the DEA’s suspension of Cardinal Health’s distribution of controlled substances from its Lakeland, Fla. distribution center, a U.S. appeals court put a stay on that block, allowing the center to ship such substances through mid-month. At that time, Cardinal must file an emergency motion and the DEA must file a response.

Tesco U.K. Adding 20K+ New Jobs
Over next two years, as part of program to “refresh” hundreds of existing stores (layout, overall experience) and open new stores. 

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