PUBLICATIONS – Newsstand and Deliver

BY MARK SMITH

This year’s election proved to be an all too painful reminder that making predictions can be a very risky business. Dating back to the introduction of radio and then TV, a dire future has been predicted for magazine publishing time and time again. All the while, the number of titles and total page counts has continued to rise.

So far, the same trend is shaping up for the warnings sounded about the impact of the Internet on printed publications. The Internet actually has had the opposite effect on the market, with Internet-related titles being one of the fastest-growing categories and Websites/companies spending big bucks on ad pages. The consensus forecast is for continued strength in the market, with no end to the growth in titles—at least in the near term.

Top 10 Publication Printers
  Company Segment
Sales
(millions)
Total Sales
(millions)
1 Quebecor World
Montreal
$1,896 $6,540
2 R.R. Donnelley & Sons
Chicago
$1,300 $5,000
3 Quad/Graphics
Pewaukee, WI
$570 $1,500
4 Cadmus Communications
Richmond, VA
$402 $496
5 Brown Printing
Waseca, MN
$304 $376
6 Perry Judd’s Inc.
Waterloo, WI
$192 $320
7 Vertis Inc.
Baltimore
$180 $1,800
8 Banta Corp.
Menasha, WI
$165 $1,270
9 Publishers Printing
Shepherdsville, KY
$160 $160
10 The Sheridan Group
Hunt Valley, MD
$123 $164

Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni, Ph.D., is the closest thing to an official tracker of the magazine publishing market. That’s in addition to his full-time job as professor and Hederman Lecturer in the Department of Journalism at the University of Mississippi in University, MS. Volume 16 of Samir Husni’s Guide to New Consumer Magazines is due out in February 2001.

Husni believes people have cried “wolf” far too many times when it comes to the future of magazine publishing. There are a number of trends that he contends are the major factors behind the current strong market conditions, and he expects them to continue in 2001.

  • Major publishers continue to launch new magazines.

  • Internet sites are moving into print. “Travelocity.com, Etrade.com and Expedia.com are just some of the big names that have launched print magazines,” Husni says.

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