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Thread: Print publishing death watch

  1. #31
    Good Morning Gene,
    This is a very interesting thread for me in that it has talked about how the magazine industry works (or does not work, as the case maybe). Just yesterday I stepped foot for the first time in 17 years or so in an American bookstore. Although I have been back in California for about 6 months, I had not had the chance to get into a regular bookstore.

    I went into the B. Dalton in Horton Plaza (downtown San Diego). The magazine rack (which ran across a whole wall) was full-----but not a single martial arts magazine to be seen. They had the full line of what I will call the "Weider Muscle Mags" but nothing on martial arts. It is a bit different at the Vons supermarket where I buy food. It has the usual martial arts "regulars" (i.e. Black Belt, IKF, Grappling).

    Well...we shall see. The B. Dalton looked real sad in terms of martial arts books too. They had probably about 10 different titles. Almost all of them were Tuttle Publishing, mixed martial arts stuff. The bigger, all color MMA/BJJ books they are putting out.

    take care,
    Brian

  2. #32
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    BK,
    It all depends on location and the store size!
    Barnes and Noble and Borders in my area (IL) have Tai Chi magazine, Black Belt, Inside Kungfu, TKD and at times, some UK Karate issues.. Even JAMA is available at times, not the medical version!

  3. #33
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    Source Interlink goes C11

    Source Interlink Files for Bankruptcy
    Nearly $1 billion in debt, distributor agrees to go private.
    By Dylan Stableford
    04/28/2009

    Magazine distributor and publisher Source Interlink is filing for bankruptcy—and going private.

    The company—controlled by billionaire Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos.—announced today that it has reached an agreement with its lenders to “eliminate approximately $1 billion dollars of existing debt” and privatize the company.

    At yesterday's market close, Source stock was trading at 16 cents per share. (In August 2007, when Source acquired the Primedia Enthusiast Group, its stock was upwards of $4 per share. A year earlier, it was above $10 per share.)

    Under terms of the agreement, the company’s lenders will cancel nearly $1 billion of the Source’s debt, as well as funnel $100 million in additional liquidity. Source, in turn, has agreed to pay “all of its vendors in full and on time.”

    As part of the restructuring, the company filed a lender-approved plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

    “We couldn’t be more pleased,” Source Interlink CEO Greg Mays said in a statement. “This restructuring will materially reduce our interest expense and debt levels, substantially improve free cash flow and allow us to capitalize on several operational opportunities to further improve and grow our business.”

    Mays said he anticipates Source will emerge from bankruptcy within 35 days.

    Earlier this year, Source was at the center of a massive magazine distribution lawsuit, claiming rival wholesalers as well as publishers—like Time Inc., Hachette and American Media Inc.—were attempting to force the company out of business.

    The company eventually settled with most of the defendants (Bauer is the lone defendant remaining in the lawsuit).
    This is only two weeks after they settled with our distributor, Curtis Circulation...
    Source Settles with Hachette, Curtis, Kable
    Bauer is last defendant remaining in wholesaler's antitrust lawsuit.
    By Jason Fell
    04/14/2009

    Source Interlink has announced agreements with Hachette, Curtis Circulation and Kable Distribution, effectively ending its lawsuit against the companies.

    In February, Source filed a lawsuit alleging that several defendants—including magazine publishers, wholesalers and distributors—“conspired” to force the company to sell its distribution business at a steep discount to rivals Hudson News and News Group. Source was awarded a temporary restraining order prohibiting the defendants from denying shipments to its magazine distribution business.

    Source has come to similar agreements with Time Inc., Time Warner Retail, News Group, Hudson News, American Media Inc. and its distribution unit Distribution Services Inc.

    “I am happy to make this announcement because it means that, when considered in light of other recent agreements, we have resolved our differences with virtually all our magazine suppliers,” Source CEO Greg Mays said in a statement.

    Bauer remains the only defendant not to strike a deal with Source.

    Last month, fellow wholesaler Anderson News, which went out of business in February, filed its own antitrust lawsuit against many of the same publishers and distributors.

    “It is fully our intention to create a bond with our publishers and national distributors that is as strong as the relationship we have with our retail partners,” Mays said.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #34
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    I strongly believe that one of the issues, in relation to kung fu books, is that many in the past were summaries of forms that did no seem to convey any knowledge of that the steps in the form were about. The consumer is quickly gonna figure out that an author who conveys only surface details without any evidence they know usage may not be an expert, and won't buy.

    The kung fu magazines often have the same problem.

    So, I blame the guys writing the books, except the guys writing the good books/articles.

    Plus, in the past, the tournaments were a good marker for what people were buying and selling, forms. Now that the market has changed, people are less likely to take lessons, take part in tournaments, etc, without more stringent proof of expertise from the experts. I think a lot of schools can see this now, and many practitioners are seriously improving their knowledge of the usage of their style. Hopefully, the tournaments that really support more than just forms demonstrations will become the norm in the future, because the ones that don't seem to be dying a well deserved death. This, imo, will result in a more expert base to provide articles and books than we may have seen in the past.

    Not saying there weren't experts, but ten years ago, someone could have a great reputation, and never have demonstrated anything but a forms performance. The real kung fu is not solitary, imo.

  5. #35
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    Not all books in the past re: M/A have been about forms only, neither have the magazines. Todays M/A magazines show folks how to use not only forms but self-defense in general and lots of it. I feel there should be more books of self-defense but DVD's seem to be dominating that market.

    Tournaments are improving and getting better. There are some great ones around the country, Form competition is fierce and dominates especially in Kung Fu.

    Martail Arts is gaining in popularity, self-defense is the motivaton, for example , parents and young people today are seeking instruction for their kids and themselves what with all The child molestation, rape, etc going on, people are seeking help with protecting their kids (Child Saftey ).
    Visit the past in order to discover something new.

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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIFU RON View Post
    Not all books in the past re: M/A have been about forms only, neither have the magazines. Todays M/A magazines show folks how to use not only forms but self-defense in general and lots of it. I feel there should be more books of self-defense but DVD's seem to be dominating that market.
    I am aware of this, but in the last fifteen years, the vast majority of kung fu books are either forms only, or 3/4 form and probably less than 1/4 practical usage. Gutting the subject of its practical usage opens the way for people who only know the form to publish, and creates books that are only useful as a curiosity, or for people who know the set held within and wish to remember it's exact sequence, which is probably not the majority of those buying it.

    Mind you, there were and are gems, but there was a glut of meaningful information in most books and articles. Not in Gene's magazines, but some places.

  7. #37
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    279 down...

    We're still hanging in there - help us out by subscribing.
    Mag Bag: 279 Mags Fold In First Half of '09
    by Erik Sass, Thursday, July 2, 2009, 5:50 PM

    While there were a considerable number of new launches, with 187 new titles debuting in the first half of the year, 2009 has seen a larger number fold -- 279 to be precise, according to MediaFinder.com, an online database owned by Oxbridge Communications that tracks U.S. and Canadian periodicals.

    The net loss of 92 magazines can't come as much of a surprise to anyone who has watched the casualty list grow longer in the first six months of 2009. The magazine industry -- like virtually all media -- has been pummeled by one of the steepest economic downturns in decades. The recession has hit key advertising categories hard, with automotive, fashion, health and beauty, electronics, and insurance and finance showing big drops in ad pages compared to last year.

    MediaFinder.com sorted closed magazines to determine which categories took the biggest hits. "Regional Interest" had one of the worst attrition rates, with 27 titles closing; these include Denver Living, Florida Inside Out, Ocean Drive en Espanol and Forbes Mountain Time, a short-lived Forbes spinoff targeting executives at Western ski resorts. The "Lifestyle" category saw 14 titles close, and "Business" saw 10, including Conde Nast's ambitious, ill-starred Portfolio. Certain categories of smaller trade publications were also especially hard-hit, with 18 titles covering the construction business demolished, reflecting the state of the American real estate market.

    But the damage has been widespread, with magazines closing in virtually every category. Among the bigger losses, 2009 has also seen the closing of Country Home, Wondertime, Teen, Domino, Figure, Craft, Hallmark Magazine, Travel & Leisure Golf, Best Life, Tennisweek, Genre, Blender, Portfolio, Television Week, Trump, PR Week, Radio and Records, Nickelodeon and Vibe.

    This represents a big jump from last year. While designating "major" titles is admittedly somewhat subjective, the 20 titles listed in the previous paragraph are double the number of major titles that closed in all of 2008 (including Blueprint, Golf for Women, Quick & Simple, Home, CosmoGirl, Men's Vogue, O at Home, Play, Cottage Living, and PC Magazine). At this rate, and with an economic recovery still some months off, 2009 is certain to see the closing of more big titles.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  8. #38
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    Thanks for your support Skip.

    I'll look for you in that shirt at Dallas. Hopefully, we can get a little KFM Forum get together going there this year.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  9. #39
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    Thank YOU, Skip J.

    In the next issue (Nov Dec 2009), subscribers get a free DVD of our event. Enjoy and thanks for your support.

    There isn't a Sep Oct 2009 review thread here yet. Maybe you can start one.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  10. #40
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    will do

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    In the next issue (Nov Dec 2009), subscribers get a free DVD of our event. Enjoy and thanks for your support.

    There isn't a Sep Oct 2009 review thread here yet. Maybe you can start one.
    You're welcome Gene! coming up....
    .... Skip

  11. #41
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    Scary

    RD is such an institution.
    Reader's Digest to file for Chapter 11 protection
    By ANDREW VANACORE (AP) – 1 day ago

    NEW YORK — The publisher of Reader's Digest, the country's most popular general interest magazine, said Monday it will file for Chapter 11 protection with a plan to swap a portion of its debt for ownership of the company.

    Reader's Digest Association Inc., owned by the New York private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings since 2007, said Monday it has reached an agreement in principle with a majority of secured lenders to erase a portion of the $1.6 billion they hold in senior secured notes. The lenders will get ownership in return.

    The planned filing, which does not include operations outside the United States, comes amid declining circulation, an industrywide advertising slump and large debts.

    Reader's Digest, the monthly magazine founded in 1922 as a collection of condensed articles from other publications, has been searching for a niche as the Internet upends the magazine industry's traditional business models.

    This year's ad declines saw the closing of several high-profile titles including Conde Nast's Portfolio, Domino and Blender.

    In June, Reader's Digest announced it would cut the circulation guarantee it makes to advertisers to 5.5 million, from 8 million and lower its frequency to 10 issues a year from 12.

    In the second half of last year, the U.S. edition of Reader's Digest had circulation of 8.2 million, 2 percent above the guarantee to advertisers but 12 percent below circulation a year earlier. Its decision to adjust to rate base suggests expectations that circulation will drop further.

    The company said Monday it will skip a $27 million interest payment on its 9 percent notes due in 2017 while it looks to build support among lenders for its restructuring plans.

    In a statement, Reader's Digest CEO Mary Berner said the agreement follows "months of intensive strategic review of our balance-sheet issues."

    The agreement includes $150 million in "Debtor-in-Possession" loans to finance the company during bankruptcy protection. Overall, the company plans to shrink its debt from $2.2 billion to $550 million following Chapter 11. It said the "vast majority" of suppliers will be paid in full under the bankruptcy plan.

    The company said it will seek further agreements from lenders and other stakeholders before making a formal bankruptcy filing within a month.

    Aside from Berner, all of the company's board members who have served since Ripplewood's $1.6 billion acquisition of the company in 2007 have resigned. Two members who recently joined will continue to serve.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  12. #42
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    This is sad news, however this is the result of the recession we are experiencing .Those that " weather this storm" will be much wiser and stronger.
    Visit the past in order to discover something new.

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  13. #43
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    last print mag standing....

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    RD is such an institution.
    and also....

    "The company said it will seek further agreements from lenders and other stakeholders before making a formal bankruptcy filing within a month.

    Aside from Berner, all of the company's board members who have served since Ripplewood's $1.6 billion acquisition of the company in 2007 have resigned. Two members who recently joined will continue to serve."


    Ah yes, well...... you guys may be the only print mag left pretty soon Gene...
    .... Skip

  14. #44
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    Have faith Gene. Even I was moved to subscribed last week to your mag. Though I have to say I absolutely hated Reader's Rubbish, I mean, er, Reader's Digest, whatever it is or was.

  15. #45
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    Thanks for your subscription, zhugeliang

    You guys are encouraging me to post more of these industry reports with your subscriptions. And given the way the industry is, that's pretty easy. There's not much good news on the newsstands nowadays.
    Magazines' Newsstand Sales Suffered in the First Half
    Most Blame Recession, Wholesaler Dispute
    by Nat Ives
    Published: August 24, 2009

    NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Recession and a dispute with magazine wholesalers combined to hammer many titles' newsstand sales in the first half of this year -- much as publishers worried they would. That's based on new numbers from many publishers in the lead-up to a big semi-annual report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

    Reader's Digest newsstand sales sank 20% from the first half of 2008.
    Reader's Digest newsstand sales sank 20% from the first half of 2008.
    Happily for the industry, many magazines rely much more on subscriptions, which seemed to hold up better. Reader's Digest saw newsstand sales sink 20% from the first half of 2008, for example, but those single-copy sales represent a sliver of its circulation. Subscriptions, comprising 92% of the pie, fell a much more manageable 3%, so Reader's Digest still exceeded its circulation guarantee to advertisers.

    But newsstand copies are a great way to get potential readers to sample a new magazine. Cover prices are much higher than subscription prices. And buyers who then subscribe using the blow-in cards inside are more likely to pay and renew than subscribers from other sources. What's more, advertisers sometimes view newsstand sales as a measure of vitality. So nobody enjoyed the big declines last year -- and nobody wanted to see more.

    Unfortunately, many magazines saw just that.

    Newsstand sales fell 15% at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where declines reached 23% at Everyday Food, 20% at flagship Martha Stewart Living, 7% at Body & Soul and 6% at Martha Stewart Weddings. "The entire magazine category reported weakness in retail, single-copy sales in the first half, clearly the result of continued softness in consumer spending," the company said. "Of the competitive set of titles that we compare ourselves to, the average unit sale decline was 19%."

    At American Media, newsstand sales fell 13%, with declines of 25% at Muscle & Fitness, 22% at Natural Health, 18% at Flex, 17% at Muscle & Fitness Hers, 14% at Star, 13% at Shape and 9% at Men's Fitness. Natural Health and Men's Fitness fell short of their guaranteed paid circulation. The two brightest spots: Fit Pregnancy slipped just 3% and Mom & Baby just 2%.

    Effects of recession
    Did the recession hurt? "For sure -- with both disposable incomes strained as well as reduced trips to the supermarket," said David Leckey, exec VP-consumer marketing.

    New York Magazine saw newsstand sales fall 13%, a drop it attributed to the economy and the wholesaler dispute. "Because newsstand sales represent less than 5% of our overall circulation, a 13% dip in sales represents a difference of about 3,000 copies per week," a spokeswoman said, "a relative drop in the bucket for the company's overall revenue and sales."

    New York is also hiking its newsstand price to $4.99 from $3.99 in September, a sign of confidence in continued demand for the product, the spokeswoman said. Wenner Media's Us Weekly lost just 3% on newsstands, while Men's Journal fell 5% and Rolling Stone dropped 11%.

    New York magazine will hike its newsstand price to $4.99 in September.
    New York magazine will hike its newsstand price to $4.99 in September.
    Rodale reported mixed results to the audit bureau: Newsstand sales sank 10% at Men's Health, 8% at Bicycling and 3% at Running Times, but they grew 18% at Organic Gardening, 9% at Women's Health and 1% at Runner's World. Prevention's newsstand sales slid 19%, but partly because of a cover price hike.

    Most of Meredith's magazines experienced big newsstand declines, but the company downplayed their importance. The wholesaler disruption contributed to declines at Parents, down 28%, and Traditional Home, down 10%, according to Andy Sareyan, exec VP-chief brand officer at the national media group as well as president of Better Homes and Gardens. Declines of 46% at Ladies' Home Journal, 35% at Better Homes and Gardens, 30% at Fitness and 24% at Family Circle stemmed not just from wholesaler problems, he said, but also the end of a test program that had increased sales in 2008.

    Some gains
    "Were it not for those two factors, we were about flat with the prior period on the newsstand, and many of our titles saw gains," Mr. Sareyan said. "The type of material that our books cover -- home, family, personal well-being and so forth -- have been categories where there is, if anything, more interest." Newsstand sales at the company's More magazine held steady from the year before.

    Some titles reported newsstand gains. Saveur's single-copy sales rose 4% from the first six months of 2008, according to publisher Merri Lee Kingsly. She chalked up the growth to editorial consistency despite the temptation to veer into cover stories on budget living. "We didn't abandon our audience that has been picking us up for years and follow the economy," she said.

    The Audit Bureau of Circulations, the industry's dominant circulation monitor, will publish its comprehensive roundup about the first half on Aug. 31.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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