Michael Jackson’s Death Profitable

Michael JacksonIt is projected that Michael Jackson special issues will produce retail sales of around $40 million, according to MagNet via The New Single Copy, a publishing distribution newsletter from Harrington Associates.

The New Single Copy also reports that PEOPLE will sell between 2.5 and 2.8 million copies and that the combined sale of the Jackson issues of the main celebrity weeklies – People, US WEEKLY, IN TOUCH, LIFE & STYLE, OK! WEEKLY, and STAR – is likely to reach seven million.

Publisher Slashes another 550 Positions

McGraw-Hill logoPublisher McGraw-Hill has announced that it has eliminated 550 positions company-wide.  Late last year, the company eliminated 375 positions company-wide and during the third quarter last year, it said it slashed 270 jobs company-wide.

While the majority of the cuts this time came from its education unit, 125 were from the company’s media and information division, which publishes BUSINESSWEEK and AVIATION WEEK magazines.  McGraw-Hill attributed the media division cuts to “the shifting of resources to continue strengthening the company’s digital offerings.”

Trade Publisher Suspends Four Titles

Modern Jeweler magazineThe magazines LUSTRE, MODERN JEWELER, RV TRADE DIGEST and WOOD DIGEST will suspend operations immediately.

The suspensions came as parent company Cygnus Business Media laid off 50 people, many in editorial and sales.  Spokeswoman Kathy Scott said: “These particular titles are in markets that are severely depressed at this time.  Right now we are suspending publication until we [can] determine the best course.”

Earlier this year, Cygnus eliminated 30 employees and suspended publication of PHOTO TRADE NEWS (PTN) and STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY. Cygnus Business Media logo It also eliminated its 401(k) contribution program and froze employee salaries.  Its owners, ABRY Partners, has been exploring a sale of the company since last summer and is said to be negotiating a debt-for-equity exchange with its senior lender.  Negotiations are ongoing.

Major Publisher Hires Consultant to ‘Rethink’ Business

Conde Nast magazines

Condé Nast (VOGUE, GQ, GOURMET) CEO Chuck Townsend just sent a memo to his staff announcing the hiring of the consultant group McKinsey & Company to “develop new perspectives” on how to generate money.

Mr Townsend warned that “we must realign Condé Nast to be a successful business in an emerging economy that is now predicted to be painfully slow in recovering.”  He said “all areas of Condé Nast will be included.”

The never subtle Gawker blog said this “will end Condé Nast as we know it.”

RHODE Island Monthly Gets New Owner

Rhode Island Monthly magazineRHODE ISLAND MONTHLY has been sold by The Providence Journal newspaper and its parent company, A H Belo Corporation, to its longtime president and publisher, John J Palumbo, the newspaper said yesterday.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Clearly, the move is popular with the staff.  Associate Editor Pippa Jack wrote on the magazine’s blog: “It’s fair to say that staff here [is] pretty pumped.  We’ve long been the odd man out in the Belo empire, the lone magazine, forced to follow all sorts of corporate strictures that don’t make sense for a small and would-be flexible outfit like us.”

Palumbo said he plans to move the company and its 25 employees to new offices at 717 Allens Avenue.  Circulation is 44,000 copies and 91% are sold through subscriptions.