Sunday, November 23, 2008

Media Week 47

Dismal week for retailing with B&N reporting slower than anticipated sales and a reduced expectation for their full year. No one (in any sector) expects the Christmas period to exceed even the least negative forecasts. B&N:
Sales for the third quarter were $1.1 billion, a 4.4% decrease compared to the prior year. Barnes & Noble store sales decreased 4.4% to $971 million, with comparable store sales decreasing 7.4% for the quarter. Barnes & sales were $109 million for the quarter, a 2.0% comparable sales increase compared to the prior year.
For the thirty-nine weeks ended November 1, 2008, the company had a net loss of $5.2 million as compared to net income of $20.8 million in the prior year. The net loss includes the third quarter charge noted above ($7.0million) as well as a $5.0 million after-tax charge from the first quarter relating to a tax settlement. Excluding these charges, the company achieved net income of $6.8 million year-to-date.
The company explained that they have maintained their gross margins and pointedly noted that they have avoided 'unprofitable top line sales growth with additional coupon promotions and extra discounting' which may not be an argument that Borders will be making next week.

SeekingAlpha Transcript

Speaking for myself, I was more surprised that Random House still had a pension plan. Well, it's now officially closed. AP
The country's largest trade publisher, Random House Inc., has frozen the pensions of its current employees and eliminated them for future hires, the latest cuts in an industry hit by declining sales and anticipating, at best, a difficult 2009.

"Effective Dec. 31, benefits in the Random House, Inc. Pension Plan will no longer grow — but they will not be reduced," spokesman Stuart Applebaum said in a statement released Thursday in response to a query from The Associated Press.

Applebaum added that, effective Jan. 1, no new employees "will be enrolled in the Random House, Inc. Pension Plan." The company will continue to offer matching funds, up to 6 percent, for 401k plans.

Reuters (via Billboard) reports on books by musicians. (Reuters):

But not everyone who has ever cut a record should count on getting a book deal.

"Things are dire in the publishing business, and they are looking to get the big names that already have established brands and platforms," says literary agent Sarah Lazin. And she adds that even some popular musicians face an added hurdle because of their fan base.

"For a long time, publishers made the mistake of thinking that because a band had sold a lot of records, they would sell a lot of books," she says. "I think they've discovered that it depends on the audience. For the Tori Amos (biography "Piece by Piece," which she co-wrote with Ann Powers), we had a huge response, because her fans are readers and book buyers."

"Piece by Piece" has generated hardcover sales of 32,000 units and paperback sales of 9,000 units since its publication in February 2005, according to BookScan.

Personally, I think more imagination could be applied to this genre far beyond the simple tell all but that's just my opinion.

An obit of Fred Newman that appeared in The Telegraph.

e-Publishing company Atypon purchase eMeta from Macrovision, Inc. LINK

The acquisition of this operation from Macrovision supplements Atypon’s existing technologies and services and creates a broader proposition focused exclusively on the licensing and online delivery of publisher content. It creates a single entity dedicated to providing innovative content production, marketing, ecommerce and e-rights management tools to the publishing industry. Through the acquisition of the eMeta operation, Atypon has expanded its highly experienced technical team and added a publishing services consulting team to the company’s existing proposition.

No comments: