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November 29, 2022

Editor’s Note: In this piece, Joe Berger provides excellent—specific and actionable—advice for publishers who are considering or are already doing newsstand sales.

By Joe Berger

Shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday, MediaPost columnist Ray Schultz released a commentary discussing price hikes in the tiny shallow pool that is now the American newsstand. Shultz cited the September announcement by the Atlantic coast wholesaler, Hudson News Distributors, that they were implementing a “cost to serve” allowance that charged additional cents per copy based on the magazine’s sell through rates. He also quoted publisher Bob Guccione, Jr., the scion of the legendary Penthouse founder and the founding publisher himself of the music magazine “Spin”.

There is absolutely nothing in this commentary that is inaccurate or incorrect. But I still dislike these sorts of pieces.  Why?  For one it simply churns up a whole lot of complaints about a system that few have been pleased with for as long as I remember. None of this is new. For another, the people who have the power to make actual changes to the system are either no longer around, or if they are, they are unwilling or unable to do so for a wide variety of reasons.

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