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Senior Editor

Pub Talk

By James Sturdivant

About James

 

Publishers' Dojo

Linda Ruth
Women Weave the Web
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World Pulse sees Women Weave the Web as an opportunity to help women transform the world by giving them access...



Publisher's Paradox

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Instead of sending your audience passive content, send your audience something they can take action on. If you read last...



Media Vent

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It's Not All Good News for Magazine Publishers
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Sometimes I just have to put the tequila aside and deliver a sobering report to the industry to offset some...



Industry Insiders

The Insiders
Publishers: Take a Lesson from the Louvre
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Today, few premium publishers can compete with the rest of the Internet. But being the most trusted source of news and...



B2B Beat

Andy Kowl
What Bloggers Can Teach B2B
Jan 23, 2014

Blogs were pronounced dead in Fast Company in December of 2012 and in New Republic in April of 2013. And just before the New...



The Digital Market

Thea Selby
A Critique Of Yahoo's Digital Magazine Strategy
Jan 14, 2014

Small Business Trends writer Shawn Hessinger and I have a completely different view of the news that Yahoo was starting...



Profit from Publishing!

Thaddeus B. Kubis
Media Conference Exhibitors Should Go Deeper to Engage
Oct 9, 2013

It has been a few weeks since I attended (as the guest of the event organizer) the Publishing Business Conference...



Dealing With the Loss of Saturday Delivery

 

The only good thing about the loss of Saturday delivery for periodicals publishers is that the response is clear, if painful. There's only so much a print concern can do to get around the realities of the manufacturing and shipping process, but magazines have been thinking for some time about how best to tweak production and distribution schedules to minimize the impact of such a move, which has been batted around for years.

A typical situation is that faced by The Week. The magazine's president, Steven Kotok, told Poynter's Andrew Beaujon that the magazine currently closes Wednesday to ensure 90 percent of subscribers receive the magazine by Saturday. Loss of weekend delivery leaves two "not-great" options, he said: close earlier and miss some news, or accept Monday delivery, which changes the reader experience. With an audience used to a lean-back weekly news roundup, the change is understandably unsettling.

Bloomberg Businessweek has been trying to speed up delivery times, the magazine's manufacturing head, Bernie Schraml, told the Wall Street Journal, claiming only a quarter of subscribers will see delivery pushed to Monday.

How is this achieved? The best strategy is some combination of moving up ad/editorial closing and tightening production to ensure a Thursday/Friday delivery date, according to Ben Madril, National Director of Mailing Sales and USPS Liaison at Trend Offset Printing.

Trend is offering print schedule adjustments, delivery re-prioritization or alternative/private delivery as options to its publishing customers, which, in combination with printing closer to final destinations, can speed the process.

"For the heavily-populated cities near our facilities,  this has been a significant advantage for our customers in meeting on-time deliveries," Madril says.

Back in 2010, Publishing Executive reported on a move by magazine publishers to alternative distribution services, such as The Economist's experimenting with hand delivery in the suburbs of Washington D.C. Magazines read primarily by affluent, urban populations are best positioned to take advantage of such services.

This is unlikely to help national magazine distributors such as Meredith, Conde Nast or Hearst. On the other hand, loss of Saturday delivery affects weeklies the most, and these publishers' business models are based on monthly delivery, leaving much more leeway for adjusting deadlines and delivery dates. This, along with a forward-looking focus on digital products, may explain why the USPS's announcement has met with a somewhat muted response from an industry with, arguably, bigger things to worry about.

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